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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Pecos gets snow, misses out on area road problems

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- Snow piled up on lawns, in fields and on the roofs of buildings in  Pecos overnight, but city streets remained clear after the first winter storm of  the season.

However, several accidents have been reported in the area due to the icy conditions that have built up on the major highways, and heavier snow accumulations are reported in all directions out of Pecos.

"We haven't gotten any road closures in this area at this point, but we are advising motorists of the slick conditions on the highways and to not travel if they don't have to," said Department of Public Safety Communications officer in Pecos Elda Whitten.

Whitten said that several accidents have occurred in this area due to the weather conditions, but didn't have the reports available yet.

The winter storm dropped about 1½ inches of snow overnight in Pecos, and snow continued to fall on and off throughout the morning. But because temperatures in the Pecos Valley were several degrees warmer than in the surrounding higher elevations, local drivers did not have to deal with the icy road conditions in other areas of the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos. As a result, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools were among the few in the Permian Basin unaffected by the winter weather.

Ice was a problem on roads in southwestern Reeves County, with one accident reported near Toyah and another near Balmorhea.

Pecos Emergency Medical Service personnel were called out to a one-vehicle rollover on Interstate 20 west of Toyah around 8 a.m. today, while local law enforcement officers and DPS troopers worked an accident early this morning on I-10 west of Balmorhea, when a vehicle towing a trailer skidded out of control and suffered front-end damage, while the trailer remained on the road and was struck by a truck-tractor.

Full reports on both accidents were not available at press time.

"I've been keeping up with some of the major ones, there were some tractor-trailers that have jackknifed and caused problems," said Texas Department of Transportation Public Relations Officer Glen Larum.

Larum said that there had been a couple of situations that were fairly serious. "The steep incline in Penwell is iced over," said Larum, referring to Caprock Hill on Interstate 20 about 15 miles west of Odessa TxDOT crews closed the eastbound lanes and forced traffic to detour at FM 1601 and travel along the south service road (old U.S. 80) to FM 866 before returning to Interstate 20. Main lanes were still closed as of 9:35 a.m., with some traffic still backed up. TxDOT crews were working to clear the roadway.

Larum said that traffic there had been detoured onto the south service road for about three miles, because that road has less of an incline for eastbound traffic.

"It's been a little problematic," said Larum. "A car tried to pass another car and created a traffic jam," he said.

Larum said that crews are trying to blade off ice and spread sand on that incline to make it safer for motorists.

"We've had a couple of tractor-trailer rigs jackknifed, east of Midland, on Interstate 20 and they blocked Interstate 20 for five hours," he said. "They were moving traffic to south service road and that was taking them all the way to Stanton."

"At least coming from East, it gets better as you go west," said Larum. "We're just warning motorists not to travel if they don't have to, because the roads are really slick."

Larum said that Odessa had received nine inches of snow already.

"Before they start traveling, motorists should call our toll-free number to check out the conditions, or visit our website," said Larum.

The toll free number for TxDOT is 1-800-452-9292 or motorists can visit their web site at

Service road detours have been set up for eastbound traffic on Interstate 20 and Midland counties _ where eastbound lanes have been closed.

Eastbound traffic is being detoured onto the south service road at East Loop 338 near Odessa where a tractor-trailer unit slid out of control and jackknifed across the highway west of the Midland International Airport exit about 9 a.m., blocking both lanes of eastbound Interstate 20. Emergency crews are trying to clear the accident scene.

Snowfall amounts varied across the West Texas region, ranging from three inches at Fort Stockton to nine inches in the Odessa-Midland area. All area highways are snow-packed and icy. Extreme caution is advised when traveling, according to Larum.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s on Thursday, but will remain below freezing tonight, causing some area roads to ice up again and cause hazardous driving conditions Thursday morning.

Snow continued to fall in the Panhandle early Wednesday. North of Lubbock, in Tulia, 2 inches of snow covered the ground. Up to six inches of snow were expected in some locations, the weather service said Wednesday.

In the San Angelo area, snowfall was expected to increase after midnight. In the northwest Hill Country, near Junction, ice and freezing rain were expected to begin as temperatures dipped below the freezing mark, making overnight driving conditions treacherous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Commissioners OK plan for sewer line connections

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- The Reeves County Commissioners Court approved subdivision  regulations from the Texas Water Development Board during their regular meeting  Monday in the third floor courtroom at the Reeves County Courthouse.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo told commissioners that the city of Pecos is working on connecting various residents to the city sewer system and need the county to approve the regulations.

"There's areas where people live in the extra-jurisdiction territory of the city who are not connected to the city systems," he said.

The commissioners went through the various "clusters" of homes in Pecos that would be connected to the waste water systems.

Galindo stated that there would be five "clusters" of homes proposed for the addition, which totals 32 residents.

He explained that the city has applied for a grant that would help in the cost of adding the new residents to the system, however, before the city is approved for that $350,000 grant the county needed to approve the regulations.

"Anyone who would like to subdivide must be aware of the subdivision regulations," Galindo said.

The commissioners approved the regulations but plan to meet with City Manager Carlos Yerena to discuss the enforcement of the regulations.

The commissioners also approved various personnel and salary changes.

The court approved the addition of Rosie Gonzalez as a part-time temporary employee for the Reeves County Library at $5.15 per hour, effective on Nov. 29.

The court approved the addition of Brian Williams as a physical fitness trainer for the Reeves County Recreation Department on a substitute basis at $8 per hour, effective Nov. 3.

For Reeves County Detention Center, the court approved the following personnel and salary changes:

Raul Herrera has been hired as a temporary contract employee at an hourly rate of $12, effective Nov. 19;

Jason Abila has been hired as a correctional officer at a salary of $19,000 per year, effective Nov. 19;

Oscar Archuleta has been hired as a temporary contract employee at an hourly rate of $12, effective Nov. 19;

Silvia Velasco has been hired as a food service officer at a salary of $19,000 per year, effective Nov. 19;

Ricardo Herrera, Jr., has been hired as a temporary contract employee at an hourly rate of $12, effective Nov. 19;

Dulces Rodriguez will be promoted to correctional officer II at a salary of $24,000 per year, effective Dec. 8.

During an emergency session directly after the regular meeting the commissioners approved numerous insurance bid packages, including general liability, public official liability, law enforcement, property and heavy equipment, auto liability and damage, and workers compensation.

County Auditor Lynn Owens said that he sent out seven bid packets for all the insurance bid requests.

The commissioners granted the general liability insurance to the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), which was the only company who replied to the county's bid request.

The commissioners granted the public official liability insurance and the law enforcement liability insurance to Pecos Insurance, which is the only company to reply to those requests.

For the auto liability and damage insurance, the commissioners granted TAC that package.

The commissioners decided to table action on the property and heavy equipment insurance and the workers compensation insurance for further information.

They also decided to re-advertise the bid request for the workers compensation insurance.

Longtime local DPS trooper taking job in Midland office

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- A longtime Department of Public Safety Officer is bidding farewell to  the Pecos community with a heavy heart.

"This was a really hard decision for me and my family, we prayed about it for a long time," said DPS Sergeant Richard Jacobs, who will be moving with his family to Midland after spending the past 14 years in the DPS' Pecos office.

"This has to be the hardest thing, but I think the Lord wanted us to go to Midland, because this position opened up for me, and I got the job," said Jacobs, who will hold the same position there that he currently has in Pecos.

Jacobs said that Pecos will always be "home" for him. "Pecos is a good community and I hope it hangs on," he said.

Jacobs was born and raised in Seminole, began his career as a trooper 18 years ago and had previously been stationed in Big Lake. His family includes his wife, Olga Jacobs and children, Rudy Lopez, Jr., Tina and Lisa Lopez, Echo and Candace Jacobs.

Christmas Tree lighting ceremony moved

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- A lighting ceremony that was scheduled for Thursday evening at Maxey Park, has been re-scheduled for Friday due to forecasts of continued cold temperatures through tomorrow.

The Maxey Park Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., Friday.

The change was made due to the weather conditions in the Permian Basin area. Temperatures are expected to warm up by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Other events are planned in conjunction with the lighting.

Holcombe to take judge's oath at district courtroom

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- Former Reeves County Attorney Walter Holcombe will take his oath of office as the new judge for the Reeves County Court at Law Friday at 9 a.m. in the 143rd District courtroom at the Reeves County Courthouse.

District Judge Bob Parks will administer the oath and family and friends are invited to attend the ceremony.


PECOS, Wed., Nov. 28, 2001 -- High Tues. 41. Low this morning 26. Forecast for tonight:   Decreasing cloudiness and cold. Lows near 20. NW winds 5 to 10 mph. Thurs.:  Partly cloudy and cool. Highs in the upper 40s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.  Thurs. night: Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 20s. Fri.:  Mostly sunny and  warmer. Highs near 60. Sat.: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs in the 60s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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