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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Early voting slow locally on first day

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- Texans began to cast their ballots Monday with the start of early  voting for the Nov. 6 state constitutional amendments election.

Balloting in Houston and Austin, where voters also will choose mayors, is expected to figure heavily in deciding which of the 19 proposed amendments are approved.

"I do think this election will be quiet," said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir. But, she added, "We'll add a little more enthusiasm than normal to a constitutional amendments election."

Typically, voter turnout is low for a constitutional amendments election when no state offices are on the ballot. It often dips below 10 percent statewide.

Reeves County Election Clerk Marian Clark that only nine people visited the polling site to vote for or against the proposed amendments on the first day of early voting.

Clark said that most of the people who visited just wanted to know more about the amendments.

"We had a lot of people asking about what they're voting on," she said.

Election official Nora Briceno said that they are able to give the people sample ballots.

"We have sample ballots so they can study them before they come in to vote," she said.

There are approximately 12 million registered voters in Texas. State officials are working to tally the total eligible for the November election.

Early voting typically accounts for about 20 percent of the total vote in a constitutional amendments election, said Ann McGeehan, elections director for the Texas Secretary of State's Office.

Counties had the option of starting early voting on Saturday. It ends Nov. 2.

Included in the proposed constitutional amendments are a fund to create new types of road construction financing and bonds to pay for veterans' housing, water projects, roads in border colonias, and facilities repairs and improvements at more than a dozen state agencies.

Overall, $3.5 billion in bond money will be before the voters.

In North Texas, voters will choose a successor to the late state Sen. Tom Haywood, who died in July.

When voters go to the polls in some parts of the state, they'll be getting accustomed to new voting systems. Harris County is using an electronic, paperless system for the first time as Houston voters select a mayor.

Mayor Lee Brown is seeking a third and final two-year term as the city's first black mayor. He faces two city councilmen, Chris Bell and Orlando Sanchez, and three other lesser-known candidates.

In Austin, voters are choosing a replacement for Mayor Kirk Watson, a Democrat who is running for attorney general.

Seeking to succeed Watson are Ray Blanchette, David "Breadman" Blakely, Jennifer Gale, Greg Gordon, Gus Garcia, Leslie Cochran, Allen Phillips and Eric Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Travis County is trying out touch-screen and touch-button voting at four early voting polling places with the anticipation that the county will soon purchase such a system.

Currently the county uses an optical scan voting system. But that system is aging, and the cost associated with preparing paper ballots for Travis County's 600,000 registered voters each election is high, DeBeauvoir said.

Counties have to be prepared for 100 percent turnout, even though they know it won't happen, she said.

New touch voting systems are not computers, but work like an electronic calculator.

In Reeves County, voters are still using the punch card system that came under criticism in Floriday, but so far there are no plans to change the county's way of voting.

Briceno said that she expects more people to come out and vote in the March primaries, which would include candidats for County Clerk, County Judge, County Commissioners and Justices of the Peace.

"We're going to be swamped," she said.

Commissioners approve RCSO radar unit lease

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- The Reeves County Sheriff's Department will be getting two  new radar units and November was declared as National  Alzheimer's Disease Month during the regular meeting of the Reeves  County Commissioners Court on Monday.

The group met to discuss several items, including the purchase of two new radar units for the sheriff's department.

"Ours are pretty old and we're in need of some new ones," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez in outlining the proposal to contract out for the new radar units. "They're for lease for three years."

"And with any malfunction they will do the service?" asked Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"Yes, we have had the same contract and it has worked out very well," said Gomez.

The Sheriff's Department will also be acquiring two new patrol cars from Ford Municipal Leasing. "We've already had the money approved, we just needed to present it to the commissioner's court," said Gomez.

Commissioners signed a resolution during their meeting proclaiming November National Alzheimer's Disease Month.

Fariss Murphy, a volunteer for the Greater West Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, was on hand to read the resolution to the court and to talk about the Alzheimer's Support Group meetings held in Pecos.

The proclamation read in part, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, and the most common form of dementia. It results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer's disease usually begins gradually, causing a person to forget recent events and to have difficulty performing familiar tasks.

And the rapidity of the disease advancement varies from person to person, causing confusion, personality and behavior changes, and impaired judgment. Communication becomes difficult as the person with Alzheimer's disease struggles to find words, finish thoughts or follow directions. Persons with the disease may wander off and get lost, in their own neighborhoods or far from home. Eventually, persons with Alzheimer's become totally unable to care for themselves. One in 20 persons over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimer's and a small percentage of people as young as those in their 30's and 40's get the disease. A person with Alzheimer's disease will live an average of eight years and as many as 20 years or more from the onset of symptoms.

Today there are more than four million Americans with Alzheimer's disease. Unless a cure or prevention is found, that number will jump to 14 million by the year 2050.

Murphy said that in Reeves County there are an estimated 146 people with Alzheimer's disease.

The Greater West Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association provides essential programs and services to our community, according to Murphy.

"We have two support group meetings, one that meets in the morning and one that meets in the afternoons," said Murphy.

The daytime group meets the second Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Reeves County Hospital Classroom, the afternoon group meets at 4 p.m., the fourth Thursday of each month at the Senior Citizen's Center.

The next meeting of the Pecos Evening Support Group will be Thursday at 4 p.m., at the Pecos Senior Center. The topic for discussion will be, "Surviving the Holidays."

Commissioners also approved finish out change orders for the Reeves County Detention Center, reports from various departments and minutes from previous meetings.

New hires and promotions for the county included at the Reeves County Detention Center, Jimmy Leonard promoted to CO III at an annual salary of $26,000 per year; Julia Rayos, to Food Service Officer III at $26,000 per year; Juan Prieto to Shift Lieutenant at $31,500; Javier Orona, Shift Lieutenant, $31,500; Joel Garcia, CO II, at $24,000; Fred Lozano, CO II, at $24,000; George Vasquez, full-time chaplain, at $26,000; Gloria Natividad has been transferred from the facility department to the business department as a business technician III; Ismael Alvarado, CO I at $19,000 per year; Lanette Bliznak, CO I, at $19,000; Nolan Blount, CO I, at $19,000 per year; Sallie Bunce, CO I, $19,000; Mary Ann Carrillo, CO I, $19,000; Annette Diehl, CO I, $19,000; Erik Lara, CO I, $19,000; Christopher LeBeouf, CO I, $19,000; Lisa Lujan, CO I, $19,000; Jesus Lujan, CO I, $19,000; Magdalena Mendoza, CO I, $19,000; Jacob Ornelas, CO I, $19,000; Harlan Rayburn, CO I, $19,000; Richard Roberts, CO I, $19,000; Norman Roman, Food Service II, at $24,000; Jesus Salazar, CO I, $19,000; Julio Torres, CO I, $19,000 and Samuel Urias, CO I, $19,000.

At the Sheriff's Department new hires included Amanda Reid and Crystal Reyes as part-time employees; Corey Davis as a jailer at $7.50 an hour, part-time; Raymond Ortiz, Jr., as a sheriff's deputy at $22,000 per year and Mike Dominguez was promoted to lieutenant.

Schools begin Red Ribbon Week events

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- This year's Pecos-Barstow-Toyah District Drug-Free program will  be different, but school officials hope just as enlightening and will  provide something for all age groups.

The annual anti-drug program set for this Thursday at the new Pecos High School gym, will be the Patsy Torres Positive Force Tour.

"This year we have a totally different idea for the drug-free rally," said counselor Virginia Caballero, while counselor Rosie Salcido said that even though the past drug-free rallies have been a huge success, the counselors thought about a new idea.

The event is being held in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, which is being celebrated by Pecos schools throughout this week. Red Ribbon Week, began on Monday with all students asked to participate with "Shade Out Drugs" _wear hats and sunglasses; today is "Flop Off Drugs" _ wear Flip Flops.

Wednesday will be "High On Life" _ Crazy Hair Day; Thursday, "Put A Stop to Drugs" _ Wear Red and Friday will be "Take Pride and Say No To Drugs" _ wear Purple and Gold Day.

"We want to target the secondary students," said Salcido. "The little ones really enjoyed the pep rallies and seeing us at the football field, but the secondary students seemed to be a little bit bored and we want to target them a little bit more this year."

The counselors introduced their new project, "The Patsy Torres Positive Force Tour," featuring the Tejano music entertainer at a recent school board meeting.

The District-Drug Free program, Patsy Torres Positive Force Tour, will be held at 9:30 a.m., for students in kindergarten through sixth grades and at 1:30 p.m. for students in 7th-12th grades at the Pecos Eagle Gym.

The drug prevention program is sponsored by the PBT-ISD counselors with the assistance of the PHS Student Council, cheerleaders, teachers, administrators and law enforcement agencies.

The counselors invite the community to come support the fight against drugs. A section has been reserved for visitors.

All schools are decorating with red to support the fight against drugs. Many activities are held throughout all the schools and the public was invited to attend Friday's show.

"We want to extend a special invitation to all law enforcement agencies and to thank them for their fight against drugs," said high school counselor Pat Cobos.

A section has been reserved for all agencies. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to bring a banner to display at the program.

Patsy Torres is one of the most important and influential Tejano singers. She has performed for live audiences of more than 100,000 people, and appeared and performed on national television for millions of viewers, and traveled all over the world winning numerous awards for her musical talents and community works.

Torres has graced the covers of national magazines, and Billboard magazine proclaimed her as one of the "Top Female Tejano Stars," while Vista Magazine selected her to represent "What's Hot in Texas." Latin Style magazine describes Torres as "El Sonido del Futuro" _ the sound of the future.

Film director stars in real-life drama on Monday

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- Film director Flavin Judd was involved in a real-live  drama Monday, when an iced up carburetor forced the  Marfa resident's airplane into an unexpected landing.

According to Joe Moore, of the Marfa Airport, Judd and a friend had been sightseeing for approximately 30 minutes Monday morning in Moore's Cesna 172 when the ice formed on the carburetor.

Moore said that Judd, who had spent the past weekend in Pecos, had trouble when the airplane's engine died. After unsuccessfully attempting to start it up again Judd chose to glide down and land on a hill approximately seven miles from Highway 117 between Fort Davis and Marfa.

"When the engine quit he just glided and landed on top of a hill," he said. "The airplane wasn't scratched, neither was he."

Judd and his friend both walked away without injuries, despite reports of the plane crashing.

Moore said that Judd, who has been flying for about 10 years, is a good pilot and was able to handle the situation well.

"He kept his head, found a good place to land and landed," he said. "He did a good job."

Judd just finished shooting a 20-minute thriller at the old icehouse on Elm Street in Pecos on Sunday before going back to Marfa.

A crew of about 20 people came with Judd to shoot the movie last Wednesday and stayed through the weekend.

The movie about a man gambling away his soul to the devil will not be publicly released. Judd, whose father, famed New York sculptor Donald Judd created the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, plans to show it at numerous film festivals.

Plate sale planned to fund baby girl's latest heart surgery

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- An Enchilada Plate benefit fundraiser will be held beginning  at 10 a.m. on Friday at Saragosa Hall.

Plates will be $3.50 and to order individuals can cal 445-5225.

The fundraiser is being held to help with medical expenses for a second heart surgery for Esperanza Evaro Fuentes, the one-year-old granddaughter of Camilo and Anita Evaro.


PECOS, Tues., Oct. 23, 2001 -- High Mon. 93. Low this morning 60. Forecast for tonight: Mostly  clear. Lows in the mid 50s. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Wed.: Mostly sunny.  Highs around 80. NW winds 5 to 15 mph. Wed. night: Mostly clear. Lows in  the lower 40s. Thurs.: Sunny. Highs around 70. Fri.: Partly cloudy.  Lows 35 to 40. Highs around 70.


Lana Osborn

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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