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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, November 26, 2001

Early holiday sales numbers up from last year

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 26, 2001 -- Fears that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States  would result in a decline in consumer spending this Christmas  haven't played out after the first weekend of the holiday shopping season.

A struggling economy even before the September attacks on the U.S. had forecasters projecting lower sales this year, but stores both locally and nationwide reported a slight increase in customers during the first three days of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

In Pecos, Beall's on Eddy Street surpassed their goal this year on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Delma Arreguy, manager of Beall's, said that the local store had a good number of customers all weekend with the bulk of the sales on Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, Friday and Saturday.

"Our sales were real good," she said. "We went over our goal from last year."

"We had a good turnout on Friday for the after Thanksgiving sales," she said.

Customers also came in on Wednesday to take advantage of an extra 10 percent off sale.

The weekend's biggest seller was the popular sneaker skates that sold for $24.99.

Despite gloomy predictions, retailers saw a 2.4 percent sales increase nationwide the day after Thanksgiving as compared to the same day last year, said TeleCheck Services, Inc., a Houston-based company. Checks account for about a third of retail spending and remain second to cash as the most popular method of payment.

"While the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally not the biggest shopping day of the year, it provides an encouraging early indication of spending for the season," said William Ford, an economic adviser to TeleCheck. "A 2.4 percent increase in same-store sales is good news for retailers."

But the news always could be better, he added.

"This is the lowest gain we have seen in a number of years but it is a gain," he said. "The retailers would like for it to be two or three times this."

The largest increases took place in Louisiana and New Jersey, where sales were up 3 percent. Retail sales grew the least in California and Arizona, where they were up by only 1.8 percent. In Texas, they were up 2.6 percent.

Arreguy said that Beall's was able to break last year's records for the whole weekend by achieving 35 percent over their goal.

"Last year we did $10,000, on the Friday after, this year we did $14,875," she said.

Arreguy said that she believes the store did very well considering what has happened nationally and locally in the recent months.

"Considering 9-11 and Anchor closing we've done very well," she said, referring to the announcment that Anchor Foods would shut its Pecos plant next year, putting 700 people out of work.

Arreguy said she believes that community members are trying to shop at home.

"I guess they're trying to help out our economy," she said.

Rediger's Pharmacy also saw a steady flow of customers this weekend, helping them do better in sales than last year, according to co-owner Landa Rediger.

Rediger said that there was not any particular item that sold the most this weekend, just numerous items for Christmas.

"We just sold different odds and ends," she said.

Pecos' Wal-Mart also was busy on Friday with post-Thanksgiving shoppers, though store officials this morning were not available to provide full weekend totals.

Other parts of Texas were also reporting good weekend sales.

Lucy Cardenas, who manages a women's apparel store at Houston's Greenspoint Mall, said additional advertising, more sale merchandise and coupons have increased sales at the store during a time of uncertainty.

"The customer has to understand if we are going to keep our economy flowing, we are going to have to keep buying," she said. "We'll cause a depression ourselves by not buying."

Zara Nausheen, an assistant manager at a clothing store called the Body Shop, says sales went up after Thanksgiving but throughout the year they have been dismal.

"I used to have $200 to $300 sales regularly but now I'm seeing $50 to $60 sales," she said. "A lot of people have been laid off and that means less people are coming to the mall and those who do are being extremely cautious with their money."

Deborah Montgomery is among those who plan to exercise more caution this year than last. With her newborn son in her arms and two older children at her side, the mother said this holiday season will be about one thing only: bargain hunting.

"I'm not doing as much as I did last year," she said. "Last year, I bought for my entire family. This year, I'm only buying for my kids."

Others, however, say a sluggish economy won't affect their buying habits.

"We still have kids and they still want stuff," said Vanessa McMahen of Carrollton who shopped at Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, near Dallas, this weekend.

Stacey Harger, an assistant manager at a Houston toy store called Zainy Brainy, said people were lined up to get in the store when employees arrived Friday and it had been "very hectic" ever since.

Harger said new toys are always a draw for little ones.

Likewise, The Sharper Image at Houston's Galleria, which specializes in gadgets and toys for adults, remained full of customers throughout the weekend, said manager Richard Jungman.

"We're happy with what's happening so far," he said. "We are expecting much more of an increase as the holidays grow nearer. ... That's what most retailers are hoping for.

"Thank God, we don't sell clothes."

Holcombe to replace Green as county court-at-law judge

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Nov. 26, 2001 -- Reeves County Commissioners appointed local attorney  Walter Holcombe to replace retiring County Court of Law Judge Lee  S. Green during the regular commissioners' meeting  this morning in the Reeves County third floor courtroom.

The decision was made following a closed-door session by commissioners near the start of their 9:30 a.m. meeting. Green is leaving his job as court-at-law judge after serving in the position for the past three terms. He has one year remaining on his current term.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that without Holcombe willingness to fill in for Green there would not be a smooth transition.

Holcombe has lived in Pecos for most of his life and has practiced law for 30 of those years.

During those 30 years, Holcombe has been a County Attorney for two terms, a District Attorney for one term and a part-time U.S. Magistrate for two years.

Holcombe said that his knowledge of the community would help him become a judge with ease.

"I know the people, I know the community and I look forward to working for the County," he said.

Holcombe is also an U.S. Air Force veteran, has a BBA degree from Baylor University and a Doctors of Jurisprudence Decree from S. Mary's Law School.

During the meeting, the commissioners expressed their gratitude to Holcombe, who was present to accept the appointment.

Galindo explained that many people have expressed their opinion that Holcombe would work well as Court-At-Law Judge.

"I talked to a number of attorneys and they all agreed that Holcombe should be appointed," he said.

All of the commissioners agreed that Holcombe's experience would help him as a judge and make the transition smoother.

"He brings a lot of experience to the job," Galindo said.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo and Precinct 2 Commissioner David Castillo agreed that Holcombe has a good work ethic and would hopefully be able to clear some of the case load that the Court is seeing right now.

"He's got a big job to do," Arredondo said.

"I think he can handle it," Precinct 4 Commissioner Gilbert "Hivi" Rayos said.

During the meeting, Holcombe assured the court that he would do a good job for the county with little interruption.

However, there are some cases that might come across his bench that Holcombe said he would have to recuse himself as judge for because of his previous work on them. Holcombe's term as Reeves County Attorney expired last Dec. 31, which could lead to some overlapping cases, but he said it would involve only a few cases.

Holcombe was defeated last year in his bid for re-election by current County Attorney Luis Carrasco. He will take over Green's position on Saturday, December 1.

"I will be closing my private practice on November 30," he said.

Galindo said that the court is excited about the appointment and is looking forward to the new beginning.

"The best thing of all is that it will be a seamless transition from Judge Green to Mr. Holcombe," he said. "He will be able to hit the ground running and it will not disrupt the function of the court."

New owner brings new name to funeral home

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Nov. 26, 2001 -- Working hard to achieve what you want pays off and one  local businessman has experienced it first-hand.

Mark Zuniga, who was born and raised in Pecos, has finally achieved the dream of owning his own business, with his recent purchase of Martinez Funeral Home.

The funeral home, located at Fourth and Cypress streets, will now be called Peaceful Garden Funeral Home, and along with a different name will come some subtle and pleasant changes, according to Zuniga.

"I want to fix it up a little, some small renovations," he said, to create a more calming and soothing atmosphere for the loved ones of the deceased. "I want to make it a place that they can relax in, during their time of trouble," he said.

Martinez Funeral Home first opened its doors in Pecos in 1987 and provides services to Pecos and the surrounding area including, Alpine, Van Horn, Toyah and Monahans.

"We offer funeral plans, pre-arranged funerals and consultations," said Zuniga.

Office hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday. "But really we're always open and available to those who need us," said Zuniga, who is on-call 24 hours a day and can be easily reached.

The funeral's home aim is to provide service to the bereaved with friendliness, courtesy and kindness. "Friendliness is a must for us. We want to let them feel comfortable in surroundings that otherwise they would not be comfortable in," he said.

Zuniga, who is a Pecos High School graduate, has completed all studies required by the State of Texas at the college and has also passed the exams given by the State of Texas and the National Board of the United States which allows him to practice anywhere in Texas.

"I am a native of Pecos and am fortunate to have been able to come back to Pecos to work here and to help serve the community," said Zuniga.

"I would like to let everyone know that we do all our work here at our location and that we are fully equipped to handle any situation that may occur," said Zuniga. "I am available at any time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day to help anyone or to answer any questions they might have.

Zuniga said he is excited about the new acquisition and plans to offer the same quality service he has been serving the community in the past.

"I've worked hard for this and it's finally paid off," said Zuniga.

He is active in the community and is a member of Lion's Club and the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce, and who has two daughters, Criselda Zuniga Villareal, 22 and Brittani, age 14.

"I like to help out and be a part of the community," said Zuniga, who enjoys volunteering for both groups in their different fund-raising activities.

Pee Wee football names are sought for team pictures

PECOS, Mon., Nov. 26, 2001 -- The Pecos Enterprise is seeking names of players and coaches on the team photos for the Pecos Eagle Pee Wee football team pictures that were taken this season.

Photos of both the youth football and Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department youth volleyball teams are scheduled to run in the Enterprise next week. The volleyball players in each of the team pictures have been identified, but names are still needed for all of the youth football teams, except for the JV division Colts.

Coaches with that information are asked to contact either program director Randy Baeza or stop by the Enterprise, at 324 S. Cedar Street, between now and Monday, Dec. 3.


Frank Baca, Mary Ruth Schmidt and Elizabeth Wilson

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