Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Winter storm expected to bring snow, freeze to area
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- The first winter storm of the season is expected
to hit West Texas tonight, with forecasters predicting light snow and
two days of sub-freezing temperatures.
Temperatures across Texas were dropping today, with the National Weather
Service office in Midland reporting freezing weather shortly before noon
today. Temperatures in Pecos were warmer, at 42 degrees as of 11 a.m., but
NWS spokesman Michael Young said that would change this afternoon and tonight.
"The big thing is the temperatures will be below freezing from now until
Thursday, which should be enough to bust a couple of water pipes. It could
get pretty messy," Young said. "The water outside will also be freezing,
so animals will need to be (given) water."
Pecos has had few problems with snow and ice over the past decade due
mainly to the Trans-Pecos area's nine-year drought _ the city has had only
six days of snow accumulation and one day of sleet since late 1993 _ but
forecasters are predicting a 20 percent chance of light rain today and a
70 percent chance of snow tonight.
"We're already getting reports of freezing rain in some areas, though
you're not getting any down there," said Young. "Later tonight, there will
be ice on the bridges and overpasses, which will make driving hazardous,
and by tomorrow the snow will start sticking to the roads."
How much snow the area will get will depend on the weather pattern across
West Texas over the next 24 to 36 hours. "A lot of the accumulation will
depend on the track of an upper level low pressure system that's above the
level of cold air that is coming in and is the coldest so far this season,"
With the cold front, a freeze warning has been issued for all of the Permian
Basin by the National Weather Service, and a high wind warning also has been
issued today for Guadalupe Pass northwest of Pecos.
Travelers are advised to use caution when driving on area roads, with
the chance of freezing rain highest both to the east on Interstate 20 in
the Midland-Odessa area, and to the west, in the higher elevations near Gomez
Peak and the Interstate 10 junction.
Snow accumulations of up to one inch are predicted for Lea and Eddy County,
N.M., and snow is also expected to accumulate in the Panhandle and parts
of North Central Texas.
Temperatures already were heading into the deep freeze late Monday in
the Texas Panhandle, where a snow advisory was issued for Tuesday.
Accumulations in the Amarillo area were predicted to be from 1 to 3 inches
on Tuesday, with an additional accumulation of 1 to 3 inches on Wednesday.
The high temperature was expected to reach 28, with the low dropping to 19.
By Tuesday night, rain was expected to turn to sleet and eventually to
snow in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the Weather Service. Temperatures
were predicted to drop into the 20s at night and not get above the low 30s
on Wednesday. An ice accumulation of a half-inch was possible.
"There's going to be a significant, hard freeze - a killer freeze," said
Michael Mach, a meteorologist with the weather service in Fort Worth.
The brunt of the wintry weather was expected to hit the western Red River
Valley, including Bowie, Jacksboro and Gainesville, where an accumulation
of 1-3 inches of snow was predicted by Wednesday.
A chance of the white stuff during the holiday season sounded nice to
Cindy Ketchum, a worker at a Dairy Queen in Bowie. Other parts of the forecast
weren't as enticing.
"I'm definitely ready for some cooler weather, and I'm ready for some
snow, especially around Christmas," said Ketchum. "I don't like the ice so
In the central and southern portions of Texas, temperatures were not expected
to be as cold, but still significantly cooler than they have been.
Highs in the upper 50s were predicted for Austin, with temperatures falling
into the lower 40s by evening.
Rain and thunderstorms were predicted across southern parts of the state,
including the Rio Grande Valley, where some storms could be severe.
Even the valley was not immune from a big temperature drop - but the mercury
had much farther to fall.
Highs in Brownsville Tuesday were expected to reach 85, dropping into
the 50s by Wednesday.
Counselors ask parents to help with HS plans
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- Parents of eighth graders in the Career Investigation
class at Crockett Middle School are being asked to attend a meeting
tonight at the school to help their students in planning for their
course schedules at Pecos High School next fall.
PHS counselor Eva Arriola said the meeting will also cover high school
graduation requirements and graduation plans, along with other courses to
earn high school and college credit. Information will also be provided about
the Texas Grant Program to help fund students' college education in the future.
Arriola and counselor Pat Cobos were at Crockett this morning working
with students in the Career Investigations class on some of the information
that will be provided tonight, and said they and Crockett Middle School counselor
Robert Ormsby would be working with other eighth graders this afternoon.
"We'll do the same thing next semester with others who are in the class,"
said Cobos, referring to eighth graders who are not taking the Career Investigation
course during the fall semester. About 95 students are currently involved
with the program.
"We're just encouraging parents to come in and get some information for
high school registration that students will be needing," said Arriola.
The meeting tonight will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will take place in the
Crockett Middle School cafeteria.
Donation aids plan for center in Balmorhea
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- Reeves County Commissioners Court accepted
a donation on Monday of land from the Nature Conservancy of Texas that
would be used for the future site for a community center and park for
the City of Balmorhea.
The Nature Conservancy of Texas recently donated nine acres of land in
the Sandia Springs Preserve in Balmorhea to Reeves County, and the donation
was accepted during the commissioners' regular meeting in the Third Floor
Courtroom in the Reeves County Courthouse.
That amount of land is enough to build a community center building and
park just southeast of the Country Inn Motel in downtown Balmorhea for the
citizens, according to Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo.
Galindo explained that Security State Bank owner Patrick Kennedy helped
in introducing the Conservancy to Reeves County.
"I'd like to give special thanks to Patrick Kennedy for all his help in
facilitating the donation of this land for this project," he said.
Kennedy also serves on the Board of Directors for the Conservancy.
The Nature Conservancy of Texas' West Texas Land Steward Jason Wrinkle
explained what the preserve does for wildlife in a news release.
"The 242-acre nature preserve protects Sandia Springs, part of the Balmorhea
springs complex, and provides habitat for rare and unusual species," he said.
Wrinkle and Galindo agreed that this donation has been in the works for
about a year.
Wrinkle further explained the Conservancy's acquisition of the Sandia
Springs Preserve and reasoning behind the donation in the press release.
"We bought the parcel of land in 1997 to create Sandia Springs Preserve,"
he said. "This particular nine acres doesn't have any special ecological
value, so we decided to donate it to Reeves County in order to help the county
to develop a community center and park. As such, it will also serve as a
buffer for the more sensitive lands on our preserve."
The Conservancy is a non-profit wildlife conservation organization that
works with communities and individuals to conserve land that is valuable
as wildlife habitat.
The Conservancy also owns an 18,000-acre nature preserve near Fort Davis
and another 2,240-acre preserve at Madera Canyon.
Galindo explained to the commissioners during the meeting that this donation
of land would make Balmorhea eligible to receive a $60,000 grant from the
Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The city of Balmorhea has been working toward the grant for about 2½
years, according to Galindo, and is eligible for the grant. However, the
city was unable to collect the money because of the lack of matching funds,
which are now available thanks to this recent donation.
Galindo said that with the donation, the county and city of Balmorhea
has been able to bring the two separate projects together.
Now with the construction of the community center on the nine acres of
land, Balmorhea is able to put up the $60,000 match.
"The donation of land has made the park project a reality for the city
of Balmorhea," Galindo said.
Galindo said he hopes to work out a construction schedule for the community
center within the next two months with contractors currently being used at
the Reeves County Detention Center.
He said that if things go well construction could begin in February of
Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin, who also lives in Balmorhea, said
that the community is eagerly awaiting the construction of the new facility.
"We're all excited about the community center," he said.
The commissioners accepted the donation with few changes in the deed.
The changes include the Conservancy's construction of a chain link fence
on the perimeter of the land after which they would bill the county for half
The Conservancy will also place a sign that explains the donation of land
to the county and city of Balmorhea.
The final change comes from taking the words "free of charge" from the
item in which it states that the Conservancy would be able to use the community
"It is against state law for the county to provide any benefit to a private
individual or organization," Galindo said.
In order to overcome that, Galindo said that a user fee schedule would
be put into place.
Galindo said that he is pleased with the Conservancy's donation of land
because he believes that it is rare when a private company would donate something
this size to benefit the community.
"It's not often that you have private folks cooperate with the public
entities to help the community," he said. "This will greatly enhance and
benefit the community of Balmorhea."
Retirement reception for Green at county courthouse
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- Community members are welcome to help the
staff at the Reeves County Courthouse thank Judge Lee S. Green for his years
of service to the community at a retirement reception in his honor from 2
p.m. to 4 p.m., on Thursday in the 143rd District Courtroom on the second
floor of the courthouse.
The reception is to honor Green who has served the citizens of Reeves
County since Sept. 1, 1982.
Democrats schedule BBQ for candidates in Pecos
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- Brewster and Reeves County Democrats will
hold "An Evening with the Candidates" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturday
at the Reeves County Posse Barn.
All community members are welcome to meet a number of democratic candidates
running for local and statewide offices during the March 2002 Democratic
Participants would be able to meet the candidates as well as enjoy delicious
barbecue and wonderful performances from a Mariachi group.
For more information contact Reeves County Democratic Chairman Bob Dean
at 445-5461 or 445-7111 or the President of the Big Bend Democratic Women,
Nancy Hndryx, at 915-837-3529.
PECOS, Tues., Nov. 27, 2001 -- High Mon. 42. Low this morning 42. Forecast
for tonight: Cloudy with a 70 percent chance of light snow. Lows in
the mid 20s. NE winds 10 to 20 mph. Wed.: Cloudy and cold with a 50
percent chance of light snow. Highs near 30. North winds 5 to 15 mph.
Wed. night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 20. Thurs.: Partly cloudy. Highs
45 to 50. Fri.: Partly cloudy. Lows 35 to 45. Highs in the 60s.
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
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise