Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, January 4, 2002
Cause sought for overnight blaze at house
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 -- Pecos Volunteer Firemen were up early this morning
fighting a structure fire on the north side of town.
Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire said that the firemen were called to the
600 block of North Ash Street at approximately 3 a.m., this morning where
a house was had caught fire.
Brookshire said that all the fire units and Pecos Ambulance Service responded
to the fire and was able to put it out without any injuries.
"One person was in the house at the time the fire started," Brookshire
said. "But he got out safely."
The same house caught fire last year leaving the residents with the task
of repairing the damage, which they were still doing.
"It burned at about the same time last year," Brookshire said.
According to Brookshire, the man, whose name is unknown at this time,
had been working on the house, which did not have any active electric lines.
"They had done a lot of repair on it," he said. "But there was no electricity."
Having immediately ruling out the possibility of the fire starting with
electrical problems, Brookshire said that he would be looking into the possibility
that the fire was caused by a natural gas source.
Fire personnel were called to the same house at approximately 8:30 a.m.,
this morning after the fire rekindled.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Ex-area residents arrested in major drug bust
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 -- Two brothers who are former Reeves County residents
were arrested New Year's Even in Juarez, Mexico along with two other
siblings, following an extensive drug investigation by Mexican police.
The investigation led to the arrests the four, who allegedly masterminded
a cocaine smuggling ring in El Paso and Juarez for the past 10 years, officials
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's El Paso office helped Mexico's
new Federal Investigative Agency work on the case, DEA spokeswoman Angie
The brothers are Mexican citizens Hernaldo Beltran Perea and Raul Beltran
Perea and U.S. citizens Jesus M. Beltran and Rodolfo Beltran.
Jesus and Rodolfo Beltran are former residents of Balmorhea and Pecos,
according to local officials.
"We arrested Jesus Beltran here in Pecos a few years ago on money laundering
charges," said Trans Pecos Drug Task Force lieutenant Larry Arredondo, while
Rodolfo Beltran was arrested on Nov. 2, 1994 on a charge of delivery of cocaine,
according to police records.
According to the El Paso Times, the brothers were arrested during a family
holiday party at Ajua, a popular restaurant frequented by many El Pasoans
and other tourists.
Officials said that the organization smuggled drugs through El Paso and
that they were then distributed to cities in Texas, Kansas, California and
"The organization was headed by Hernaldo and Raul Beltran, who organized
the smuggling and distribution and sale of 50 to 100 kilograms of cocaine
per week, while Jesus and Rodolfo (Beltran) recruited drivers and collected
the payments," according to a statement from the Mexican federal attorney
The Times said both Pereas and both Beltrans were taken to Mexico City,
where they will be processed for extradition to the United States on drug
charges, said Lorenzo Aquino Miranda, Chihuahua state director for the Mexican
federal attorney general's office.
Anchor closing subject of story in N.Y. Times
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 -- A story on the closing of the Anchor Foods
plant in Pecos was part of the national section of this past Sunday's New
Entitles "Texas Desert Town Thirsts for Lost Jobs and People" the story,
by San Antonio-based writer Ross E. Milloy, focused on the announcement of
the closing of the 700-worker plant by McCain Foods in November and the job
situation locally, including the additional jobs being created by the expansion
of the Reeves County Detention Center.
The story is available on the New York Times' website, www.nytimes.com
, but the link requires registration.
Year In Review
Pageant, rodeo winners crowned in July
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 --
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of stories on events
in the Pecos area in 2001. Today's story covers the month of July.
Monday, July 2, 2001—Desirae Tercero wowed the audience with her
song and took home the coveted title of Golden Girl of the Old West during
the Annual Golden Girl of the Old West/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant held
Friday evening at the Pecos High School Auditorium. Earlier in the evening,
Marissa Tarango, the daughter of Gaston and Mary Tarango, was crowned Little
Miss Cantaloupe for 2001 out of 12 girls competing for that award. Runner-up
in the Golden Girl competition for 2001 was Kristina Dominguez, who did a
dance routine to a song by Jennifer Lopez. The Miss Congeniality Award went
to Nikki Walker, while Shanna Tredaway was the recipient of the advertising
award. Cassie Foster and Kattie Davis were this year's other Golden Girl
candidates. In the Little Miss Cantaloupe competition Josie Paz was the runner-up
Tuesday, July 03, 2001—U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson questioned
the evidence and questioned his own actions during jury selection, citing
them as the main reasons for his reversal of the jury's guilty verdict against
six undocumented illegal aliens on charges of marijuana smuggling in Pecos
Federal Court two weeks ago. Furgeson reversed the jury verdict on June
22, following a week-long trial in federal court, and released his official
opinion on the case on Monday.
After several months of asking for assistance with a potentially dangerous
problem, the Avila family in Barstow finally got the help it asked for.
The home of Manuel Avila had been swarmed with bees for some time now and
it seemed that even when they called to get help, no one responded. Ward
County Animal Control officer Pablo Navarette, acting in an unofficial capacity
was able to kill off the bees Monday night, but needed to set off six foggers
inside the house to do so.
Thursday, July 05, 2001—An autopsy has ruled out foul play in the
deaths last month of two of the newest arrivals at the Maxey Park Zoo, and
officials said the zoo soon could have replacements for those animals. Two
African lions, Boomer and Brigit, six and five years old respectively, arrived
in Pecos in January in a new facility built just for them. Gil said that
the autopsy report showed the lions had died from a liver or kidney infection.
Officials feared that the lions had been poisoned but quickly ruled out that
Hundreds of community members and visitors gathered along the streets
of Pecos to enjoy the annual Fourth of July Rodeo Parade Tuesday morning.
This year's parade theme was Disney characters in a Western theme, which
left participants dreaming up lots of ideas. Golden Girl nominee Shanna
Treadway won the Golden Girl float category by taking a spin off of Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs with her float "Belle Shanna and the Seven Deputies.
The West Texas National Bank staff gathered on their "Toy Story 2; Woody's
Roundup," winning first place in the commercial category.
After the first night of the rodeo the 2001 West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee
made sure to take strong measures in insuring that no alcohol is sold to
minors. John Deering, Agent IV with the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission,
said that he observed a young male allegedly purchasing alcohol with a military
Tuesday, July 10, 2001—A longtime Barstow resident and member of
the city council was killed this morning when the pickup he was driving collided
with a Union Pacific freight train on the east side of town. This fatality
occurred one block east of where a car carrying six people was struck by
a Union Pacific train on May 11, sending four people to Reeves County Hospital.
Two employees of McDonald's received an early morning wake up yesterday
when an unknown man robbed the store of over $1,000. Pecos Police Investigator
Kelly Davis said that the man is believed to be white and approximately
six-foot with a stocky build.
Wednesday, July 11, 2001— The Brant Street crossing, where a Barstow
alderman was killed on July 10, had already been scheduled for closure under
an agreement between the city and Union Pacific Railroad. The actual responsibility
for closing the crossing on the east side of town was unknown, even while
residents of Barstow are asking why no action has been taken three months
after the agreement was signed. According to Barstow Mayor Benny Hernandez,
the City Council had approved a resolution that would close the railroad
crossing on April 11.
Thursday, July 12, 2001— A young girl died and three others were
seriously injured following an early morning traffic accident on Interstate
20 east of Toyah. The accident occurred at 3:50 a.m., today, at mile marker
27, on Interstate 20, five miles east of Toyah. Killed in the accident was
12-year-old California girl who was pronounced dead at 7 a.m., at Reeves
County Hospital by Justice of the Peace Lamberto Herrera.
Thursday, July 13, 2001 —After seven years of service to the city,
Geneva Martinez is resigning from her position as city secretary to take
another job. Her last day at city hall will be Friday, and she is planning
to start her new job at American Home Health on July 23, where she'll be
working for owner Leo Hung.
Friday, July 13, 2001— Things are being "spruced up" at Martinez
Field, which will soon be taking on a new look and be more available for
local athletes to use. The 20-year-old field located south of Interstate
20 near the Reeves County 4-H Barn is getting a much-needed "facelift" beginning
with landscaping and installation of a lighting system for the first time.
Wednesday, July 18, 2001—A former Reeves County Detention Center
employee was indicted last Thursday by United States District Court grand
jurors meeting in Pecos. Kimberly Dawn Orona, 24, was charged with two counts
in the indictment, the first for providing or possessing of contraband in
prison and the second for bribery of a public official.
Thursday, July 19, 2001—The Pecos Economic Development Corp. accepted
the donation of the Smithers Automotive Testing Center by the Ohio-based
company, during a special meeting held this morning on the second floor of
the Security State Bank building. The 5,800-acre tire and automotive testing
complex was closed in May because of an inadequate business volume over the
last several years, which adversely impacted operations, Smithers said.
While the donation of the property will open up the area for possible use
by the Town of Pecos City and Reeves County for an underground water field,
it will also take the 5,800-acre site off the local property tax rolls.
Friday, July 20, 2001—Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD employees got some
good news in the form of pay raises on Thursday, following action taken at
during a special meeting of Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board. Following a lengthy
discussion, board members agreed to give school administrators a three percent
raise; raise the salaries of all auxiliary and professional personnel by
five percent, and increase stipends for all coaches, UIL sponsors and class
sponsors. P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love presented the board with different
pay scenarios and told the members to proceed with caution when approving
the pay scales and the tax rate.
Monday, July 23, 2001—A Pecos woman died as a result of a one-vehicle
rollover on U.S. 285 early Sunday, one of numerous accidents that occurred
this weekend. The woman died after the vehicle she was traveling in rolled
over and ejected her from the vehicle at approximately 6:45 a.m., on Sunday,
about 5.8 miles south of Pecos.
The Pecos Police Department is continuing their investigation into the
death of a man whose body was discovered in a mobile home late Friday afternoon
in the 200 block of Walthall Street. Police believed the body had been there
for approximately three days when it was discovered.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001— Monday's closing of the Brant Street railroad
crossing in Barstow was not in response to the death of a Barstow City Councilman
two weeks ago, according to a Union Pacific Railroad Company spokesman.
Spokesman Mark Davis said that UP has been working with the city council
in Barstow for many months on closing off that crossing.
Thursday, July 26, 2001—Charlene Jeannette Alligood, former president
of both the Pecos Chamber of Commerce and Reeves County Hospital District
Board and a frequent volunteer at her church and with local community groups,
died Wednesday at Odessa Medical Center Hospital following a brief illness.
Alligood was a member of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years,
serving as president of that organization for 1999.
Monday, July 30, 2001—The Town of Pecos City's Athletic Pool has
only three weeks remaining before it is scheduled to be closed permanently,
due to new state regulations. But city officials have been looking into many
options that would help keep pool at Maxey Park open next year. Because
Texas now has new regulations on maintaining swimming pools, the city has
been looking at what needs to be upgraded at the pool in order to keep it
Tuesday, July 31, 2001—Concrete for the first section of the new
Pecos Law Enforcement Center is due to be poured in the next few days, as
construction on the $5.6 million facility enters its second month. Corplan
Corrections Corp. is constructing the municipal criminal justice center,
which will house both local inmates and U.S. Marshal Service inmates awaiting
trial at the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse here in Pecos. Construction
on the project, to be located on Raul Florez Boulevard between Texas and
Moore streets, is expected to take a year.
Town of Pecos City Manager Carlos Yerena said today that the truck that
two local men were using when they were arrested this weekend for public
intoxication belonged to the city. At about 4 a.m., Sunday morning, Michael
Roy Pena, 18, who was driving a 1989 white Chevrolet pickup, was arrested
along with Richard Paul Rodriguez, 17, and Juan Carlos Abila, 17, at Allsup's
on Eddy Street, all for public intoxication.
Study required before picking electric provider
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 -- Pecos consumers expecting easy shopping for cheap
electricity in the state's newly deregulated market may be disappointed
when they start looking for the cheapest rates and services in their
As of January 1 local residents can shop from among four retail electrical
providers that have signed up with the Public Utilities Commission to sell
electricity in the area, but smart shoppers will have a lot more to compare
than a simple price per unit of power.
First Choice Power is the new retail company that was split off of Texas-New
Mexico Power Company (TNMP) _ the company that has been supplying Pecos with
both power and service for decades.
It is one of three utilities that have served the area over the years.
West Texas Utilities (WTU) provided power for southern Reeves County, including
Balmorhea, while TXU, the former Texas Utilities, was the power provide for
Ward County and is the state's largest electric company.
With deregulation TNMP will still be handling the physical delivery of
electricity in the Pecos area of central and northern Reeves County.
"TNMP is now what is called a transmission and distribution utility, and
First Choice is one of four retail electric providers offering service in
the Pecos." Said Valerie Smith, the director of communications for TNMP.
If you were a TNMP customer in 2001 then you started out the year as a
First Choice customer. From then on it is up to the consumer, she said.
Smith explained that one difference for consumers would be whom they called
when there was a problem.
"If there is a power outage or any other transmission problem then Pecos
residents will still call TNMP, but for billing and similar problems customers
will need to call their retail provider," she said.
For First Choice customers that means calling the same people they have
been calling all along at the local First Choice billing office. Customers
that switch providers will need to call their provider's office, wherever
that office happens to be.
Smith said that most importantly, consumers need to make sure that they
are comparing apples to apples when they shop.
As far as price goes, that means making sure that the price the provider
is quoting is the whole price.
"People should ask if the quoted price is the `total delivered price,"
she said. "That way they can be sure that all fees and costs are figured
into the price being quoted."
Smith also suggested calling the toll free information line at 1-866-797-4839
or logging on to www.powertochoose.com before making any decisions.
From the power-to-choose web page consumers can follow links to the Public
Utility Commission (PUC) web site and links to information such as: what
companies are offering electricity in the area, how to contact those companies,
and good questions to ask when shopping for electricity.
The same information is offered via telephone at the toll-free number
The PUC suggests the following list of questions for shoppers to ask each
provider before contracting for electricity:
- What is the total delivered price per kilowatt-hour?
- Is the price fixed, or can it change over the term of the contract?
- Is the price per kilowatt-hour affected by how much electricity I use
or when I use it?
- Will I be required to sign a contract and if so, for how long?
- Will there be a switching fee or meter reading fee if I switch?
- Is there a membership fee or any other fee?
- Is there a cancellation fee if I change my mind?
- Is there a customer incentive for signing up?
- Are any other services offered in addition to electric service?
- What happens when my contract expires?
- Is there an average payment plan?
Smith added that once a consumer has answered these questions another
good question would be, "Why should I choose your company over the others?"
That will give the company a chance to speak to issues such as service,
how clean the power is in term of method of generation, and other issues
that cannot be reduced to numbers.
PECOS, Fri. Jan. 4, 2002 -- High Thursday 56. Low this morning 30. Forecast
for tonight: Cloudy with a slight chance of rain: Possibly an evening
thunderstorm. Rain may mix with or change to snow after midnight. Lows 30
to 35. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph: Becoming north after midnight.
Chance of precipitation 30 percent. Saturday: Mostly cloudy and breezy
with a 20 percent chance of morning snow. Highs 45 to 50. Northwest
winds 15 to 25 mph. Saturday night: Becoming mostly clear. Lows around
25. Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs 55 to 60. Monday: Mostly clear. Lows
25 to 30. Highs 55 to 60.
Paul Budlong, Norman Eisenwine, Consuelo Lozano and Matilde Salgado
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise