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Thursday, June 21, 2001

Group seeks to boost city's available housing

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thursday, June 21, 2001 -- A newly formed organization is dedicated to help more Pecos families become homeowners.

The Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce has formed the non-profit corporation, called the Pecos Housing Association, which is solely dedicated to supplying housing for local low-income citizens.

The association is tax-free and all donations made to the association are tax deductible.

The association's board of directors includes Chairman Jesse Stephens, Vice-Chairman John Grant, Secretary Nellie Gomez, Reecia Pigman, Carlos Yerena and Gari Ward.

Stephens came up with an idea that many of the abandoned houses in Pecos could be renovated and sold at reasonable prices.

"All these house are empty around here and all these people need homes," he said.

The Chamber also realized the amount of empty houses and buildings in Pecos and that there are 50 low-income families that are on a waiting list for housing through the Pecos Housing Authority.

Stephens said that he came up with the idea to contact the property owners and ask them if they would like to donate the property to the association, which would qualify them for a tax break.

Stephens said that having people donate their abandoned properties would benefit not only the families that would live in them but also the community because it would "improve the looks of Pecos by renovating unsightly houses."

Gomez, who is executive director of the Pecos Housing Authority, said that Stephens asked her and the other board members to participate in the association.

"He approached the different people that have any interest in housing in the community," she said.

Stephens said that he picked what he believes is a good cross-section of the community.

"I thing we've got a good board," he said.

Right now, Stephens said that he is looking for property owners to discuss the possibility of them donating their property to the association.

Before taking on a house, Stephens said the association would examine the building for termites, how sound the structure is and if it is practical for renovating, according to a press release from the association.

He went on to say that once the association accepts a house or building, the board would work on donations made by citizens and organizations.

He also said that he believes that they would be able to use volunteers to do the actual renovations, similar to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Christmas in April.

"If we can get the materials and some know how, I think we could get the volunteers," he said.

In order to make the association a success, Stephens said that they would need the support of the community.

Yerena, who is also Town of Pecos City Manager, said that the city fully supports the association and would be ready to help with administrative work if needed.

"We're just acting as a support entity because it benefits the community," he said.

Stephens said that the association is just getting started and hopes to be successful with the help and support of community members.

Art show replaces Pioneer Family at museum

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thursday, June 21, 2001 -- As with anything else things tend to come and go. They also tend to come back. So during the summer months in Pecos, residents as well as tourists will be able to view the works of local artists.

In the past the Pecos Pallet Club and the Art Association would set up shows of local artists exhibiting their western artworks during the West of the Pecos Rodeo. The display was usually held at the Reeves County Civic Center.

This July, the West of the Pecos Museum will host an exhibit of local artists and their paintings, which will be available for purchase.

The paintings can then be bought with or without a frame.

"We have great artists in this town," Debbie Thomas said. "In the past we have tried out art shows. We are just bringing back a different variety."

The show will exhibit the western works of artists within Reeves County. The museum will then display their works in a room that will be designed in a Western theme.

Currently, the museum offers people the opportunity to view an exhibit that contains eggs.

This exhibit consists of porcelain, jewel, emus and ostrich eggs decorated by local artists.

While the art show is being revived, the West of the Pecos Museum's annual Pioneer Family event will be a thing of the past beginning this year.

Since it was established, the museum has honored 40 families who have been part of the Trans-Pecos area for a century or more, and just like exhibits tend to come and go, the Pioneer Family had seen its time.

"It has run its course," Thomas said. "It's just like exhibits, they come and go."

However, Thomas said that if the Pioneer Family was to come back some change would come with it.

"If it was brought back, we would have to re-invent it and have different criteria."

Thomas also said that one of the things that will never die will be the Old Timers Reunion, which is held annually as part of the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

"The Old Timers Reunion will continue because you don't have to pick and choose," Thomas said. "Anyone can join."

The reunion will be held on the Fourth of July this year, which will also be the day of the West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade. The parade is held annually the first regular night of the rodeo, which will run from July 4-7 this year, at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Former Pecos man sentenced by Frugeson

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thursday, June 21, 2001 -- U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson sentenced a former Pecos resident to 33 months in jail on Wednesday, during proceedings at the Lucius Bunton III Federal Courthouse in Pecos.

Juan Manuel Lujan, 42, of Willis, Tx., and formerly of Pecos, was sentenced to 33 months at Federal Correctional Institute in Beaumont and three years supervised release.

He was also assessed a $100 special assessment fine, which will go to the Crime Victim's Fund.

Lujan was charged with possession of marijuana with intention of distribution. His case was one of a series of trials and sentencings that kept federal court officials in Pecos busy all week.

Ferguson's main case this week has been a trial for which jury selection began on Monday, and involves six defendants arrested on drug-related charges.

The defendants, who are all illegal aliens, have been charged with "backpacking" into the United States with a load of marijuana.

The group was traveling through rugged terrain in an effort to transport the illegal drugs in bags.

The trial will resume today and tomorrow.

KWES anchorman Hendricks marshall for Rodeo Parade

PECOS, Thursday, June 21, 2001 -- The Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce that the Grand Marshall for the West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade which will take place on Wednesday, July 4, will be Jay Hendricks, of NewsWest 9 of Odessa.

The chamber is asking the community to welcome Hendricks, co-anchor of KWES-TV's 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, and participate in the parade.


PECOS, Thursday, June 21, 2001 -- High Wedensday 99. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near 65. East wind 5 to 15 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High near 90. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low 65 to 70. Saturday and Sunday: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of thunderstorms. Low 65 to 70. Highs 90 to 95.


Becky Allen and Margaret Money

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