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Monday, June 25, 2001

High court backs affirmative action ban at UT schools

Associated Press Writer
PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday sanctioned a lower court ruling that held an affirmative action program for colleges and universities in Texas discriminated against whites.

The case involved a successful challenge to a University of Texas law school policy that gave special consideration to black and Mexican-American student applicants.

This may not be the last word on affirmative action in higher education. A ruling that struck down the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action policy is before an appellate court and appears to be working its way to the Supreme Court.

The court's order nonetheless dashed hopes that the justices were ready to resolve conflicts among appellate courts over affirmative action. Those differences have surfaced since the court's 1978 fractured Bakke decision, when the majority said universities may take race into account in admissions.

"We are disappointed," said University of Texas President Larry Faulkner. "At some point, the court will take (a) case involving these issues. For now, we will keep searching for creative and legal ways to achieve a diverse student body."

The state challenged a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found the former law school policy discriminated against whites.

The Supreme Court was asked to consider the case in 1996, but refused that year. Since then, the case returned to the lower courts and has worked its way back.

Texas education officials have said the ruling left the state at a competitive disadvantage with other public universities in recruiting students.

The Texas attorney general's office, in a brief in favor of the affirmative action policy, said the court should decide whether the Bakke decision remains the law of the land.

"The court's long silence on consideration of race in higher education has left conflict and confusion in the lower courts," the state argued.

The state said that even though Texas had long ago eliminated legal segregation in higher education, the admissions policy was critical to bring diversity to the state system.

A high court decision is crucial in 16 states that are operating under judicial orders and negotiated desegregation plans designed to eliminate discrimination in higher education.

In the Texas law school class of 500 that entered last fall, there were 18 blacks and 34 Mexican-Americans in a state where more than 40 percent of the population comes from those groups.

Texas has substituted a program that guarantees admission to any public university in the state to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

This program "has the effect of lowering undergraduate admission standards," the state argued.

Lawyers for two nonminority applicants who were denied admission argued the appeals court decided the case correctly and did not contradict the Bakke decision allowing affirmative action.

"The court of appeals has not held that race could never be considered in admissions," the applicants' lawyers said.

"Instead ... the court considered the ... justifications that the law school proffered for its use of racial classifications ... and concluded that none of them was constitutionally adequate ...."

The applicants also argued that the state failed to identify any law school admissions practice that is traceable to the era of legal segregation in Texas education.

Since the state began granting preferences to minorities in the 1960s, there was a "clean break with the ... practices of the 1940s," the lawyers said.

The case is Texas v. Hopwood, 00-1609.

Fireworks sales begin; bans remain in effect

Staff Writer
PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- The skies of Pecos will be illuminated _ but only in certain places - as this year's firework venders begin to open for the 4th of July.

As the official day for the venders to open was Sunday, they saw many people coming out to buy fireworks. However, Tammy Orona, member of the Apostolic Faith Center Church and vender of the Factory Outlet stand, said that they had many people come on Sunday.

"We made over $200 yesterday," Orona said. "They say if you make a hundred dollars on the first couple of days, you are doing good."

Orona, along with Rose Watson, who is also member of the Apostolic Faith Center Church, said that the sale of fireworks is a fundraiser for the church.

The money earned from the fundraiser will go to help the church expand their Sunday school classes and their Spanish Ministry, Orona said.

"We have a lot of deals for the kids,"Orona said, which include both a raffle and toys for the younger kids.

Just after the first day, Orona said that their two biggest sellers are the Texas Pop Rocket and the Roman candle.

"We already have to reorder those," Orona said about the Texas Pop Rocket. "We also have a lot of new stuff."

However, for Romelia Alonso, vender at the Truck Load stand the biggest sellers are the family packs.

Each pack contains big fireworks but as they get bigger they start to contain more items, Alonso said.

Watson also added that they have a lot of fireworks that are sold on a buy one get one free or buy one get five free offers.

However, with the sale of these fireworks children as well as parents need to be aware of the laws that come with them.

Town of Pecos City and Reeves County Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said that a law was passed last year that prohibited missile-top fireworks to be shot and that law has not been lifted. That law remains in effect and Brookshire also said that shooting off any type of fireworks is illegal within the city limits.

"Those found igniting fireworks within the city limits can be fined up to $500 for each offense," Brookshire said. " We will fine the parent or who ever is responsible for the child and the fireworks will also be confiscated."

Brookshire also said that people in the county are also prohibited from shooting missile-tops on their private property.

"It is also illegal in the county-wide burn ban to burn anything out in the county," Brookshire added, since brush in Reeves County remains dry after nine straight years of below-normal rainfall.

However, Brookshire said that in the past the county has allowed parents to take their children out to Martinez Field south of Interstate 20 to shoot small fireworks.

Task force arrests two teens on marijuana charges Friday

Staff Writer
PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- Two Pecos teens were arrested after local law enforcement searched a home on South Cedar Street Friday afternoon.

David Chavez, 17, and Felipe Ornelas, Jr., 17, of Pecos were arrested on Friday and charged with possession of marijuana under two ounces and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two were arrested after the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Department searched the home of Cheryl Salcido in the 1400 block of South Cedar Street and found a "useable quantity of marijuana along with drug paraphernalia and packaging materials consistent with that of narcotic users and narcotic dealers," according to a press release from the Task Force.

Task Force Commander Gary Richards said that the agencies searched the home after receiving information on some drug activity at that location.

"We had information that marijuana was being sold there," he said.

According to the Sheriff's office, Chavez and Ornelas were released on bond in the amount of $750 for drug possession and time served for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two were released on Saturday and are waiting for a trial date to be set.

Richards said that the Task Force has been working with the police department and the sheriff's department in efforts to continuing the war on drugs.

"This is just a part of our ongoing investigations in Pecos to try to curb drug trafficking in this area," he said.

The Task Force is still continuing its investigation on this latest incident.

Ghost Writer

Wildcats rigs common sight for area in '20s

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
PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- The term "Wildcat" was, at one time, a term objected to as it referred to worthless stock. Today the term means drilling in unproven areas. The term originated in Pennsylvania when they drilled for oil in wooded areas and they had to watch for wildcats.

Alton Hughes' book, Pecos, a History of the Pioneer West, stated that the first oil in this area was discovered by accident when a rancher, drilling for water, hit oil and it rose to within 30 feet of the surface. Another rancher had the same experience a few years later. The oil was very viscous and was used to grease windmills.

Back in the mid 1920's, the Pecos Enterprise had at least one story about oil on the front page every week. Each article told about some trouble they were having with the well such as water in the hole, cave-ins, a lack of casing or labor problems. Sometimes they reported that it looked as if they were going to have a gusher soon. One reported that the "Panhandle Power & Light plant" lacked the proper "paraphernalia" to refine the oil. They said, "I am getting some of the finest lubricant I ever saw." They could not hit upon the proper method to separate the oil into the many grades. They intended to build a refinery large enough to refine the total output. I wonder why all this never took place.

They didn't need TV in those days as they went to the well sites to see the well being "shot." The Texas well drew over 1,000 men, women and children to the site where they watched as the workers put 250 quarts of nitroglycerin into six foot metal containers, dropped them into the well with a handful of dynamite, attached the cap and lighted the fuse. After extensive research, (at least five minutes) I found that an equal amount of nitroglycerin is three times as powerful as gunpowder and the explosive speed is 25 times as fast as gunpowder. When nitroglycerin explodes, it expands to form gases that take up 3,000 times as much space as the liquid. It must have been exciting to hear the sound of a distant shot and 15 seconds later, to see a stream of oil and gas shot up though the derrick. A second explosion, greater than the first, saw tons of rock and oil soaked mud fly into the air. I'll ask my "Mature" advisors if they took their grandchildren to the event.

Locating oil and gas in the early part of the century was not well developed. Spindletop salt dome near Beaumont, Texas was the first salt dome successfully drilled for petroleum back in 1901. A mound with gas seeps marked the expression of the Spindletop salt dome. It was a gusher that blew about 200 feet above the derrick and produced 75,000 barrels a day. 64 more wells were drilled in the salt dome and each had a gusher. This excessive production depleted the oil by 1903.

Today, we have much better methods of locating oil and gas. A gravimeter, or gravity meter, a magnetometer, to take the measurement of the earth's magnetic field at a location and, as used in this area, seismic or sound energy. A gravimeter was used in Saudi Arabia in 1948 to find the largest conventional oil field in the world. Seismic methods are improving and they no longer damage your fields as they once did and the methods are much more accurate. Some oilmen feel that Reeves County has a good possibility of a large gas field.
A young man had coffee with my "Mature" advisors the other day and related nonstop many of the events in his life. He paused only to breath and sip coffee. His last story was about his bus trip as a first grader when the bus ran off the road and into a creek. Many children were injured and the lad next to our storyteller was killed. The young man placed his cup on the table, rose to his feet and said, "God was with me that day." He then departed. The mature consensus was that they had never heard a 30 minute dissertation using only personal pronouns and if God was with him that day, He certainly was not with the rest of us.

Doc's resignation to be discussed by hospital board

PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- The Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors is scheduled to discuss the resignation of John C. Libbie, DPM during the regular meeting of the board at 6 p.m., tomorrow night in the classroom at the Reeves County Hospital.

The board will discuss the resignation during the medical staff report portion on the agenda.

The board will also discuss a new salary rate structure of all employees and a prescription drug program for the employees.

Other items up for discussion by the board include sale of property located at 2030 S. Eddy St., 131 and 133 S. Oak St., 418 and 420 Mulberry St., 1120 E. Eighth St., 501 S. Orange St. and a site three miles southeast of Toyah.

Also on the agenda is items covering July travel, the monthly tax report, the hospital's financial statements and budget amendment, the payment of bills and any public comments.


PECOS, Monday, June 25, 2001 -- High Sunday 105. Low this morning 74. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Low in the upper 60s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Tuesday: Mostly sunny and continued hot. High near 101. South to southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 60s. Wednesday and Thursday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms each day. Lows in the mid 60s to near 70. Highs around 100.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.


Clifton Ikeler, 20, was arrested at 5:52 a.m., on June 19 at Yucca and Missouri Streets for driving while intoxicated.


Alfonso Garcia, 32, was arrested at 8:34 p.m., on June 17 in the 1000 block of West Sixth Street for failure to signal.


Reynaldo Rodriguez, Jr., 24, was arrested at 8:56 p.m., on June 16 in the 1300 block of Cedar Street for driving while intoxicated.


Jason Eric Gonzales, 18, was arrested at 9:55 p.m., on June 16 in the La Tienda Parking Lot for driving with license suspended.


Irma Jiminez, 24, was arrested at 1:15 a.m., on June 17 in the 2400 block of Highway 17 on warrants for no seat belt, having an unrestrained child under two and two warrants for failure to adjudicate.


Rolando Rodriguez, 18, was arrested at 4:15 a.m., on June 17 at the Flying J Truck Stop on two warrants for minor in possession and a warrant for failure to adjudicate.


Rudy Minjarez, 47, was arrested at 7:53 a.m., on June 16 in the 400 block of Hickory Street for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.


James Esparza, 21, and David Lee Levario, 17, were arrested at 10:50 p.m., in the 2100 block of Country Club Drive. Esparza was arrested for furnishing alcohol to a minor and Levario was arrested for minor in possession, third offense-class B misdemeanor.


A one-vehicle accident occurred at approximately 4 p.m., on June 19 at mile marker 29 on Interstate 20. DPS, Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Pecos EMS responded. One Odessa man was transported to Reeves County Hospital where he was treated and released.


Seferino Ramirez, Jr., 24, and Julian Millan, 20, were arrested at 10:13 p.m., on June 21 at Seventh and Eddy streets both for disorderly conduct/fighting.


Beverly Yazzie, 32, and Suzanne Ward, 38, were arrested at 6:11 p.m., on June 19 in the 200 block of Cherry Street both for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Michael O. Alvarez, 22, of Odessa, was arrested at 12:14 a.m., on June 22 on State Highway 17 for public intoxication.


Jerry Olivas, 20, was arrested at 8:40 p.m., on June 24 in the 900 block of West Third Street on a Capias Pro Fine warrant.


Jose P. Galvan, 26, was arrested at 7:25 p.m., on June 24 in the 300 block of West County Road for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Ismael Arevalos, 47, Jose Cabral, 61, and Victor Chavez, 30, were arrested at 8:56 p.m., on June 23 in Barstow all for public intoxication, a Class C Misdemeanor.


Geronimo Menchaca, 47, was arrested at 10:34 p.m., on June 23 at the Circle M Bar for public intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor.


Celia Chavez, 45, was arrested at 12:43 a.m., on June 24 at Fourth and Peach Street on a warrant for theft by check over $20 and under $500 and failure to identify.


Elias Carrasco, 18, Nacho Rodriguez, 17, Marco Bejarano, 20, Maribel Mendoza, 17, and Ruben Jiminez, 18, were arrested at 12:25 a.m., on June 24 in the 2200 block of Missouri Street all for evading arrest.


Michelle Castillo, 20, Gerardo Marruffo, 22, and Norma Maruffo, 48, were arrested at 1:19 a.m., on June 24 in the 1100 block of East 10th Street. Castillo and Norma Maruffo were arrested for assault under the Family Violence Act while Gerardo Maruffo was arrested for interference.


Russell Davis, 39, and James Neathery, 44, were arrested at 9:13 p.m., on June 22 in the 1200 block of South Cedar Street both for public intoxication.


Martha Rodriguez, 22, was arrested at 10:53 p.m., on June 22, at Monroe and Morris Streets on a warrant for theft by check, Class B.


Jose C. Reyes III, 33, and Fernando Estorga, 35, were arrested at 11:43 p.m., on June 22 in the 800 block of Oak Street both for public intoxication.


Rafael Martinez, 63, was arrested at 12:09 a.m., on June 23 in the 700 block of East Second Street for public intoxication.


Enrique Jaques Ojeda, 65, was arrested at 11:59 p.m., on June 23 in the 2300 block of Sacaton Road in the Lindsey Addition for public intoxication.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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