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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, January 3, 2002

Commissioner's races add candidates at deadline

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2002 -- A third candidate for the Precinct 2 Reeves County  Commissioner's seat in the March Democratic Party primary election filed just  before Wednesday's deadline, while the incumbent commissioner for  Precinct 4 picked up his first challenger on the final day to enter the March  12 election.

Newcomers Alvaro "Al" Herrera and Alex Ramirez entered the commissioner's races on Wednesday, by filing treasurer's designations with Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez and with Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean. Herrera will seek the Precinct 2 commissioner's seat and named Connie Herrera as his treasurer, while Ramirez, who designated himself as treasurer, filed for the position of Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4.

Ramirez will face incumbent Gilberto "Hivi" Rayos, while Herrera will face incumbent David Castillo and another challenger, Norman Hill. Both Rayos and Castillo are in their first terms as county commissioner, after being elected to their posts in 1998.

Ramirez' filing brings to six the total number of local races that will be contested in the March 12 primary. Drawing for a place on the ballot has been scheduled for Jan. 18.

The four other contested races include the primary election for Reeves County Judge, where incumbent Jimmy B. Galindo is being challenged by Louis J. Matta; Reeves County Clerk, where Florez is being challenged by Sofia Abila, and for the Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace and Constable posts. Incumbent Precinct 2 JP J.T. Marsh has two opponents, Jim Riley and Jaime Salgado, while Jerry Matta and Clint Glenn are seeking the constable position vacated last month by Salgado, when he decided to run for Justice of the Peace.

Others who have filed and will appear unopposed on the primary ballot include, Judge, County-Court-At-Law, Walter M. Holcombe; District Clerk, Pat Tarin; County treasurer Linda Clark; Justice of the Peace, Precinct #1 Amonario P. Ramon; Justice of the Peace, Precinct #3 Rosendo Carrasco; and Justice of the Peace, Precinct #4 Lamberto T. Herrera.

Dean has also filed for the position of Democratic Party Chairman, a position which will be up for election as well. Dean has been county chairman for many years and will run unopposed for that position on March 12.

Several other candidates did file treasurer's designations with Florez in December, but failed to file either their signed petitions or submit a filing fee with Dean before Wednesday's 6 p.m. deadline.

Unopposed candidates could still face either Republican or write-in candidates in the November general election. Reeves County had no filings on the Republican side for any local positions in the primary election, which will also be held on March 12.

There will be a primary election on the Republican side for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm that Reeves County voters can participate in, while Democratic voters will be casting ballots that day in both the primary for U.S. Senate and for governor. Republican Rick Perry, who took over as governor when George W. Bush was elected president, is unopposed in his bid for a full four-year term.

Pickup- train collision kills Monahans man

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2002 -- A Monahans man was killed in a train-vehicle accident that  occurred on the west side of that city early this morning. 

The accident happened at 6:25 this morning, at North Loop 464 and the Texas-New Mexico railroad crossing, a spur line which connects with the main Union Pacific Railroad line along Business Interstate 20 in Monahans and travels north through Kermit and Jal, Eunice and Hobbs in southeastern New Mexico.

Wesley Boone, 31, of Monahans, was driving a 1998 Chevy Pickup, was killed instantly when his vehicle collided with the eighth car of a northbound train of 21 cars, according to Department of Public Safety Trooper Eric White.

White said that the driver apparently did not see the train coming. "It was dark and the crossing was not marked," said White.

The pickup went completely under the train and continued onward for 990 feet past the train, according to the accident report.

"He apparently did not see the train at all and the truck just went through the train, under it and continued traveling," said White.

Boone's body had to be removed by the Jaws of Life, with the aid of the Monahans Fire Department.

Nobody else was injured or in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

No other investigation will be done on the accident.

Year In Review

Lack of rains caused fires, dust storms in area

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2002 --
This is the sixth in a series of stories covering events in Pecos and Reeves County in 2001. Today's story is on events during the month of June.


Friday, June 1, 2001—Problems with a new wastewater treatment system are to blame for the smells coming from south of the Anchor Foods plant in Pecos, and the company said the problem is being addressed as quickly as possible. Accumulation of vegetable waste in the settling ponds is likely a key source of the odors. Anchor is taking immediate steps to have this material removed.

Rains hit Fort Davis on Thursday, but they failed to fall in the nearby areas where firemen have been battling a pair of wildfires for the past four days. Firemen continue to battle the twin wildfires, which were caused by lightning strikes on Memorial Day.


Tuesday, June 5, 2001—Water was shut off to numerous Pecos homes after a water main broke at about 8 p.m., Monday night on the east side of town. Pecos Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said that the water main at the intersection of Seventh and Walnut Street broke and the water cracked the asphalt and filled the street. Local law enforcement set up roadblocks in that area so that a city crew could fix the leak. By 6 a.m., this morning the leak was fixed and water was flowing to the homes in the area.

After many days of fighting the three fires located in the Fort Davis area have been contained. Kelly Bryan, Fire Chief in Fort Davis said that with the fires controlled, volunteers are demobilizing and pulling out, and he is uneasy because of the thunderstorms that expected for this afternoon and through Saturday. With the thunderstorms expecting to roll in this afternoon, and conditions in the area continuing to stay dry there is a possibility of future fires.


Wednesday, June 6, 2001—Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega once again got to keep his home, following a lawsuit instigated by the city official. An auction had been set for 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 5, in front of the courthouse steps, but that sale was canceled.

Ortega had filed for Chapter 13, bankruptcy last year, saying at that time that it was, "a reorganizational effort to get his affairs together." Ortega said that the main reason he went into bankruptcy was because of the house payment, in which he was behind the payments on. Ortega said that by filing this lawsuit the house could then go back into the bankruptcy court.


Thursday, June 7, 2001—Menu items remain the same, along with the same friendly staff that greet you at what was formerly known as the Cattleman's Restaurant now called "Abi's Kitchen." Bertha Porras and her husband, Carlos, purchased the restaurant located at 425 W. 3rd, after the couple that owned the restaurant decided to retire.

Balmorhea schools will be getting a high-tech shot in the arm now that the district has received a $50,000 grant to improve technology infrastructure on its campuses. The grant comes from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board, a state agency that provides technology funding for Texas public schools.

Pecos Crime Stoppers asked community members for any information on a drive by shooting that occurred on May 24 at an unknown time in the 2200 block of South Plum Street. Davis said that it appeared that only one shot was fired at the home of David and Jan Pattillo with the bullet entering the front of the house. No one was injured.


Friday, June 8, 2001—Signing bonuses for all subject matter teacher shortage areas were approved during the regular meeting of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board. Assistant Superintendent Gome Olibas told the group that he would like a fixed bonus amount to be set by the board. The bonuses that range all the way up to $5,000 will be awarded to math and science teachers, while signing bonuses of $1,500 will be given to special education and bilingual teachers. School superintendent Don Love told the group that they really wanted to attract good teachers.


Monday, June 11, 2001—Pecos Police Officers arrested three local men involved in two separate incidents over the weekend. Two men were arrested for aggravated assault after they got into a confrontation with two Allsup's Convenience Store clerks, located in the 700 block of South Cedar Street. Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said at some point in the argument the two employees were attacked with a tire tool that sent one to the hospital with head injuries.


Tuesday, June 12, 2001—The Town of Pecos City, City Council authorized the application for a State of Texas home improvement partnership program grant that would be used to help in purchasing affordable housing in Pecos during a special meeting last Friday. City Manager Carlos Yerena informed the Council that the $300,000 grant would be for affordable housing through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and could be used toward either new or existing housing in Pecos.


Wednesday, June 13, 2001—The residents of Pecos got to glimpse a few raindrops in the following the dust storm Tuesday evening. The storm hit at about 7:30 in the evening to the Pecos area and caused no damage to crops according to Mike Murphy of the Texas A&M Experiment Station. Department of Public Transportation Communications Officer, Linda Chavez said that yesterday's visibility was zero at the height of the short storm but that there were no reports of roads being closed. The Pecos Municipal Airport reported that the wind gusts of 61miles per hour were recorded during the storm.


Friday, June 15, 2001—They were seen roaming the country during the pioneer days. Then they were thought to be an endangered species. Now they are roaming the countryside again. Or at least the highways. The Chief Deputy Sheriff of Brewster County, Jim Keene, said that they have had numerous calls, on buffalo blocking area roads. Wednesday he got a call about buffalo roaming across U. S. Highway 385 north of Marathon, three miles into Pecos County. A call was made to the Pecos Sheriff's Department at about 8 a.m., but because all officers were out, a call was then made to the Alpine Sheriff's Department at about 12:50 p.m. about the buffalo being loose, Keene said. A total of forty buffalo - cow, bulls and calves - all contributed to traffic having to slow down as well as to traffic jam. No accidents were reported, Keene said.


Monday, June 18, 2001—An Odessa man and a boy from Georgia were killed in separate accidents in Ward County, one between Monahans and Coyanosa early Sunday morning and the other between Pyote and Barstow early today. The boy died following a one-vehicle accident that occurred 10 miles east of Pecos on Interstate 20 in Ward County at about 3:35 this morning. The other fatality was the result of a motorcycle accident on Farm Road 1776, a tenth of a mile from county road 1771 in southern Ward County.


Tuesday, June 19, 2001—The love for others has brought many adventures to a Florida woman over the years while journeying across the Western Hemisphere on a motorcycle. Catharine Rambeau has spent most of her adult life on motorcycles, and continues to ride not only for her but also for children with cancer. She made a stop in Pecos the previous Friday while traveling along the borders of Texas alone in hope of gaining support for Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Rambeau said that she chose to ride in Texas not only because the children's hospital is located in Houston but also because Texans are "real polite" and the state has good roads


Friday, June 22, 2001—After 14 years of operations, Smithers Scientific Services, Inc. will be closing its doors with an auction of all remaining on-site equipment. In a press release sent out in early April, the company said that it was closing its tire and automotive testing complex due to an inadequate business volume over the last several years that has adversely impacted operations.


Tuesday, June 26, 2001—The City of Pecos is looking to find funds to help keep the City Athletic Pool open so that the children of Pecos would have something to do during future summer vacations. After being open for over three decades, the city has had to go in several times and repatch the pool floor due to leakage. However according to City Health and Sanitation Director Armando Gil, if someone is to jump on certain spots of the pool floor would tend to bounce back due to the water that is trapped underneath it. The pool at Maxey Park is open this summer, but in order for it to continue to stay open in the future and at the same time meet the qualifications of the Texas Department of Health, the repairs alone would cost the Town of Pecos City about $500,000, Gil said. ***

Thursday, June 28, 2001—Reeves County has filed a lawsuit against the construction company that was in charge of the Reeves County Detention Center II project. Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the project came in late and Reeves County had to do some work the architects should have done.


Friday, June 29, 2001—Town of Pecos City officials received good news in the form of federal funding for the new jail facility the city has been working on. The U.S. Marshal's Service released $2.4 million in funding to the City of Pecos to reimburse the city for construction of a new detention facility, U.S. Senator Phil Gramm announced. Ground was broken back in April for the 96-bed jail, which will also serve as new home for the Pecos Police Department and will be located on Raul Florez Boulevard, between Texas and Moore streets.

Chamber selling tickets for annual awards banquet

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2002 -- Tickets are now on sale for the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet scheduled for Jan. 25, at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Guest speaker will be Ray Stone, who broadcasts the Dallas Cowboys Report on radio stations across Texas and other parts of the Southwest.

Tickets can be purchased at the chamber office located at 111 S. Cedar or call 445-2406.

Bonilla to face re-election challenge from Cuellar

By The Associated Press
Five-term incumbent Henry Bonilla could face his toughest  re-election challenge yet this November, after a former Secretary of State filed to run  for the District 23 seat as a Democrat on Wednesday.

Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who was appointed Secretary of State by Gov. Rick Perry, entered the race for the 23rd District seat on the final day to file. The District runs from Laredo to the eastern part of El Paso County, and includes both parts of San Antonio and all of Reeves County.

Bonilla was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, defeating Democratic incumbent Albert Bustamante, who was at the time under indictment and was later convicted of illegally accepting bribes.

Bonilla became the first Mexican-American Republican elected to the U.S. House and has easily won re-election in each of his past four campaigns, but could face a tough challenge against Cuellar. He spent 14 years as a member of the Texas House of Representatives before being named Secretary of State by Perry last year. He resigned the post in October, and initial speculation was Cuellar would run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Phil Gramm.

Cuellar told the San Antonio Express-News he is running on his record as a state legislator and stressed that his campaign would press issues of education, homeland defense, the economy and Social Security. .

"I consider him (Bonilla) a good man," Cuellar said. "I'm running to give the people a choice."

Bonilla's Washington office said a formal statement from the congressman would not be available until later today, but Frank Guerra, Bonilla's spokesman, told the Express-News that the congressman would take Cuellar's challenge seriously, while predicting, "We'll beat him."

Wednesday was the filing deadline for this year's elections. By the end of the day, five Republicans and five Democrats had filed to run in their respective primaries for the Senate.

Former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales had all but officially announced he would be among the Democratic contenders. But he surprised many by filing for the governor's race.

Gramm retires next January and his decision not to seek re-election has set off a frenzy to replace him in what could be campaigns costing millions of dollars.

"I think this will be a very expensive race. Texas is the second most populous state. You have 14 major media markets. You're trying to talk to five or six million voters or more. The magnitude of it makes it expensive," said U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen, D-Houston. Bentsen said he'll rely on his accomplishments in Congress to emerge from the crowded field.

Democrats haven't held one of Texas' Senate seats since 1993, when Bob Krueger lost in a special election to Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican.

Other Democrats trying to put their party back in the Senate in 2003 include former Gramm challenger Victor Morales; former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, ballot perennial Gene Kelly and Austin attorney Ed Cunningham.

Texas Attorney General John Cornyn saw his opposition in the Republican primary increase this week. But his campaign office said he's a veteran at primary races.

"Attorney General Cornyn looks forward to a spirited campaign," said Matt Winslow, a Cornyn spokesman.

His Republican opponents are Lawrence Cranberg, an 84-year-old Austin physicist, and Douglas Deffenbaugh, a San Antonio businessman, attorney and accountant. Also filing as Republicans were Bruce Rusty Lang of Dallas who listed his occupation as Christian physician, and Dudley Mooney from Santo in Palo Pinto County.


PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2002 -- High Wed. 39. Low this morning 23. Forecast for tonight:   Increasing clouds. Lows near 30. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Fri.:  Mostly cloudy.  Highs near 55. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Fri. night: Cloudy with a 20  percent chance of rain or snow. Lows near 30. Sat.:  Cloudy with a 20 percent  chance of rain or snow early: Decreasing clouds by afternoon. Highs 50 to  55. Sun.:  Partly cloudy. Lows 25 to 30. Highs near 55.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report  is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,  Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies. 

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.


A male juvenile was arrested at 6:06 p.m., on December 20 at Walmart for theft over $50 and under $500.


Jaime L. Wade, 44, was arrested at 11:06 p.m., on December 20 in the 1100 block of Lunday Drive for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.


Richard L. Urias, 22, and Mark Salazar, 25, were arrested at 1:58 p.m., on December 21 at the Purple Sage. Urias was arrested for disorderly conduct (fighting) while Salazar was arrested for evading arrest or detention.


Christina Acosta, 25, Gabriel Candia, 28, and Raul L. Fierro, 26, were arrested at 2:30 a.m., on December 21 at the Quality Inn. Acosta and Candia were arrested for public intoxication while Fierro was arrested on a Reeves County Sheriff's Office warrant for reckless conduct and on a DPS Pecos warrant for speeding.


Juan Carlos Lujan, 29, was arrested at 749 p.m., on December 19 in the 700 block of South Walnut Street on a Capias Pro Fine warrant for speeding.


Jesus Orosco, 35, was arrested at 8:19 p.m., on December 18, in the 900 block of South Cedar Street for public intoxication.


Joann Villescas, 26, was arrested at 8:45 p.m., on December 18 in the 500 block of Walthall Street on a warrant for failure to provide food and water for an animal.


Esmilda Hernandez, 44, was arrested at 9:18 p.m., on December 17 at Eddy and Washington Streets on outstanding DPS warrants for unregistered driver and no liability insurance.


Joe Martinez, 17, was arrested at 10:15 p.m., on December 17 in the 1100 block of Oleander Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Virgina Romero, 50, was arrested at 9:53 p.m., on December 17 in the 300 block of East 14th Street for assault under the Family Violence Act, resisting arrest and interference with an emergency call.


Gerardo Mendoza, 22, was arrested at 6:47 p.m., on December 16 in the 300 block of South Cedar Street on a warrant criminal trespass.


Jaime Natividad, 18, was arrested at 9:18 p.m., on December 16 in the 900 block of East Eighth Street for public intoxication and assault under the Family Violence Act.


Gary Neal Tate, 44, was arrested at 8:30 a.m., on December 16 at Flying J Truckstop for theft under $50.


Diane Mendoza, 37, was arrested at 7:07 p.m., on December 15 in the 100 block of South Pecan Street for public intoxication.


Rosie Rodriguez, 49, and Frank Rivera, Jr., 52, were arrested at 11:13 p.m., on December 15 in the 1100 block of East Third Street both for public intoxication.


Paul Morrison

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