Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, August 13, 2001
Pecos residents killed in crashes near VH, Mason
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- Vehicle rollover accidents took the
lives of two Pecos residents and injured a Pecos teen over the weekend.
Sherry Lee Brantley, 39, and Estephen Lopez, 49, both of Pecos were
killed in separate vehicle accidents, the first one occurring about 105
miles west of Pecos and the second about 275 miles east of Pecos.
Brantley was killed in the second accident, which occurred on Saturday
morning after the 1992 Chevrolet Suburban she was driving rolled over one
and a half times, ejecting her from the vehicle.
A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the accident occurred
around 9:10 a.m., on the eastbound lane of State Highway 29, approximately
11 miles east of Mason on the northwestern edge of the Texas Hill Country.
"The driver (Brantley) fell asleep and entered the south barrow ditch
and over corrected entering the north barrow ditch and rolled about one
and a half times," the spokesperson said.
Brantley was ejected from the vehicle while her son, 14-year-old Clifton
Brantley, was partially ejected and pinned under the driver's side door.
Dr. Robert Martin of Mason pronounced Brantley dead at the scene and
her body was then transported to Mason Funeral Home before being returned
to Pecos. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Pecos Funeral Home.
Clifton Brantley was taken by ambulance to Llano Memorial Hospital,
where he was listed in fair condition.
Lopez's death also came as the result of a one-vehicle accident, this
one at approximately 11:23 p.m. CST, on Friday at mile marker 125 on Interstate
10, midway between Van Horn and Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth County.
The DPS spokesperson said that Lopez was driving westbound on I-10 in
a 2001 Freightliner pulling a 1999 Wabash trailer.
"The vehicle was westbound on I-10 and drifted onto the north
shoulder for approximately 300 feet when it impacted the west side of a
concrete culvert," the representative said. "The cab separated from
the frame and overturned end over end coming to rest facing southeast
on the passenger side of the tractor."
Hudspeth County Justice of the Peace Margie Aguilar pronounced Lopez
dead at the scene at 11:50 p.m. MST.
Lopez' body was taken to the El Paso Mortuary in El Paso before being
returned to Pecos. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Martinez Funeral
An accident closer to Pecos on Friday afternoon sent three people to
Reeves County Hospital after the minivan they were in rolled over approximately
15 miles north of Pecos on US 285.
The accident occurred at 1:33 p.m., on August 10 with Reeves County
Sheriff's Deputies, DPS, Pecos Volunteer Fire personnel and Pecos Ambulance
personnel responding with the JAWS of Life unit.
The destination of the vehicle and the names of the passengers involved
were not provided by the local DPS office.
August's tax rebate check for city almost unchanged
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- Sales tax rebate figures for June were
virtually unchanged for the Town of Pecos City, while Toyah, Balmorhea
and the Reeves County Hospital District all saw declines in their rebate
totals for the month, according to figures released on Friday by Texas
Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.
Rylander sent out August rebate checks last week, and Pecos' total of
$77,330 was up 1.93 percent from last year, when the city got back $75,859.
However, for the first eight months of 2001, the city remains down by four
percent in their rebate totals from a year ago, at $502,377.
The city's tax rebate is based on its 1 ½ cent share of the state's
8 ¼ percent sales tax. One sixth of the city's sales tax goes to
the Pecos Economic Development Corp, which will receive $12,880 back from
the comptroller's office this month.
Balmorhea, and the hospital district also are down in tax rebates slightly
from a year ago, while Toyah's year-to-date rebates are up by over 50 percent
despite a decline this month. Balmorhea's check for $1,375 was down 11.82
percent from a year ago, Toyah's $546 check was 17.42 percent lower than
last year and the hospital district's $32,911 check represented an 8.82
percent drop from August of 2000.
Overall, Balmorhea has gotten back $5,713, down 4.25 percent this year,
the hospital district has received $205,670, a 1.33 percent drop, while
Toyah has gotten $5,042 back from Austin, which is up 53.84 percent from
a year ago.
Across the area Odessa, Kermit Alpine and Monahans all reported double-digit
increases in their tax rebate checks this month, while Midland, Andrews,
Big Spring, Van Horn and Fort Stockton all showed increases of between
3½ and 9½ percent this month.
That was in line with the overall state figures, which showed cities
and counties in Texas averaged just under a 6 percent rise in their sales
tax rebate checks from a year ago. Houston's rebate check for $33.47 million
again was the largest single check sent out, and was up just over 3 percent
from a year ago. Dallas received a $20.99 million check this month, which
was down 1.45 percent from last year.
Ward deputies help police recover stolen car
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- Pecos Police, with the assistance
of the Ward County Sheriff's Department, were able to recover a vehicle
that was stolen at a local convenience store this weekend.
"We were advised at 3:16 p.m., on the 10th that a vehicle
was stolen from in front of Uncle's on Cedar (Street)," Police Investigator
Kelly Davis said.
Davis said that someone stole a 1997 maroon Cadillac after the owner,
Amos Felts of Joplin, Mo., exited the vehicle to go into the store Friday
"He advised us that he went into Uncle's and left the keys in the car
and somebody stole it," he said.
Davis said that the police department reported the stolen vehicle to
other law enforcement agencies.
He said that there were a couple of witnesses who saw the vehicle in
Monahans, which led to the recovery of the vehicle at the roadside park
between Pyote and Monahans in the early morning hours on Saturday.
The witnesses had heard about the stolen vehicle over the scanner and
noticed it at a Monahans convenience store.
"They saw the maroon car there in Monahans at a convenience store,"
Ward County Sheriff's Deputies discovered the vehicle abandoned at the
No arrest was made in the case, but Davis said that the suspect is believed
to be a Hispanic male, five foot nine, 165 pounds, with dark hair and a
barbed wire/rope tattoo on his neck.
This is the third stolen vehicle that has been reported to the police
in the past two months, according to Davis.
"We've recovered all of them," he said.
He said that there was a stolen vehicle that was found on fire in July
as well as another stolen vehicle that was pulled over by Reeves County
Davis said that two boys were discovered driving the second stolen vehicle
in July but they ran when they were pulled over. He said that the police
and Sheriff's office do not know who the boys were and have no suspects.
Davis has some advice to car owners when they leave their vehicles.
He said that the person should always take their keys with them, lock
the doors and hide any valuable possessions from sight.
Davis also said that if anyone sees any suspicious activity or is approached
by anyone to buy anything feel free to contact the police.
"The police department would be glad to check it out for them," he said.
If anyone has any information on these stolen vehicles contact Crime
Stoppers at 445-9898. All callers would remain anonymous.
History of county includes two hangings
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, August 13, 2001 -- I have been requested to write of
the hanging of Lon Cardenas Martinez who, according to Alton Hughes'
account in his book Pecos _A History of Pioneer West, was
the only person to be hanged legally in Reeves County. His
account of the recorded events, trial and hanging are complete with
the exception of one thing. Mrs. Annie Hamilton befriended
Mr. Martinez and, while in jail, Mr. Martinez made a small box and
carved her name on it. This box is in the Lynn Hamilton display at
the West of the Pecos Museum.
There is no need to relate the story again and bring up ill feelings
as some people think that he was innocent. There is a story of another
hanging in Reeves County but there is no written record of the event. It
seems that a young Anglo was hanged for horse stealing.
A less controversial story happened in 1940 when a Pecos lawyer, William
Kerr, was retained to represent an oilman in Fort Stockton. His intention
was to show that an oil well was not commercial. The other side said that
the well was, in part, commercial. An oil lease was dependent upon the
results of this trial. While the trial was in progress, the Railroad Commission
ruled that the owner of the well had to plug it or produce it. Both options
would be costly. The end result: nine lawyers were hired to lose the case.
I have known some lawyers who could lose the case without help. That seems
to be their specialty. The Enterprise heading for the story was,
"Man Bites Dog."
My. "Mature" advisors were right on target when they questioned the
accuracy of astrology. I have just learned that one can earn a bachelor's
or master's degree in Astrological Arts and Sciences at Kepler College.
(Mr. Johannes Kepler, (1571-1630) who discovered three laws of planetary
motion must be turning in his grave.) India wants to create astrology departments
in 24 universities. There is a crusade to add astrology to our public school
curriculum as "multicultural studies."
In this free country, where people can carve out their own destinies,
it is unthinkable to teach people that the planets control their lives.
There is no evidence to support astrology. Why do people want something
or someone to control their lives? I must be out of step as so many voting
people vote for more regulations and less freedom. Name a regulation that
does not give the government more power and the people less liberty.
My "Mature" advisors, quite familiar with funerals as it is often their
contemporaries being buried, were talking about what they would like the
preacher to say at their funeral. One wanted it said of him that he was
thrifty in all that he did. They all agreed that it was not necessary to
say that he was thrifty, as everyone knew that by the pine box he had rather
than a coffin. They also thought that "tight" or "cheap" might be better
Begays offer lesson to kids on fitting in
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- A session at Vacation Bible School
in Pecos last month was extended into a trip to Toyah last week for
a group of children, who received a few lessons in horse training
and gardening from local residents Steve and Bertha Begay.
The couple hosted six boys and girls last Tuesday at their house, three
of whom are Navajos, like Steve Begay, said Suzie Zuniga of Primera Iglesia
Bautista Mexicana in Pecos, who said both she and Bertha Begay were involved
in last month's Vacation Bible School activities in Pecos, which attracted
121 local boys and girls.
"I saw how she teaches, so I called her us and asked if we could go
visit her, especially the Navajo kids," Zuniga said. "We would have had
a lot of other kids come, but we didn't have enough help to bring them
"The kids were leaving the church because most of it is in Spanish,
and they were having a hard time," Begay said. "I asked them what the problem
was and they said `we can't speak Spanish, we're Navajos.' So she (Zuniga)
decided to hold a little ministry for them to build their self-esteem."
Steve Begay took the kids to his corral where they learned a little
about horse training, and the six boys and girls also got to feed a baby
horse, which was being kept in the family's front yard. Bertha Begay said
like their other animals, the baby horse was adopted after it was abandoned.
"It was found in the wild out in the mountains in Arizona. It's mom
left it out there, and it was found and we ended up adopting it," she said,
adding that she hoped the lesson would help show the Navajo children that
they could fit in to unfamiliar places and could lead a more religious
life, without the problems, such as drinking, that have plagued Native
Americans on reservations in the Southwest as they get into their teen
"We tried to show them even if you're a little different, it's OK and
you can fit in," Begay said.
Eagles holding night workout at field Tuesday
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- A "Meet the Eagles" practice session
has been scheduled for the 2001 Pecos Eagles football team this coming
Tuesday night at Eagle Stadium, head coach Gary Grubbs said on Wednesday.
The Eagles will hold a night practice at the stadium, which will be
followed by a watermelon feed at the conclusion of the workout, which will
get underway about 7:30 p.m.
We're going to have a little bit of practice under the lights, and then
have a scrimmage," Grubbs said. "It will be open to the public, if anyone
wants to come out and meet the players and coaches."
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for any information
on an armed robbery that occurred a few weeks ago.
Pecos Police were advised of a robbery that occurred at McDonald's at
approximately 12:41 a.m., on July 18.
Upon arrival, officers were advised that two employees opened up that
morning to begin their work.
Both employees had forgotten to lock the front door.
While one employee was opening the vault, she heard a noise behind her.
The employee turned around and saw a man standing behind her with a
knife in his hand demanding money.
The man was described as wearing dark clothing and the suspect was wearing
a homemade ski mask.
The suspect was very belligerent toward the employee demanding the money.
After the employee complied, the suspect ordered both employees to enter
the freezer vault.
The suspect then left the scene while the employees stayed there until
they felt it was safe to exit and call the police.
If anyone has any information on this crime or any other crimes call
Crime Stoppers at 445-9898. All callers may remain anonymous.
PECOS, Monday, August 13, 2001 -- High Sunday 100. Low this morning 69.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers
or thunderstorms. Low around 70. East wind 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday:
Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High
in the mid 90s. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly
cloudy. Low around 70. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High in the upper
90s. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of afternoon and
evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 70. Highs in the mid
to upper 90s.
Sherry Lee Brantley and Estephen Lopez
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise