Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, January 21, 2002
Pecos residents involved in fatal Odessa shootout
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- A shootout involving three former Pecos residents
in Odessa Friday afternoon left a woman dead, a police officer wounded
and the woman's husband in critical conditions and facing first degree
murder and attempted capital murder charges.
Estela Cadena Ramon, 36, was shot and killed by her estranged husband,
Joe Albert Ramon, at her place of employment in downtown Odessa. Joe Ramon
then got into a shootout with Cpl. Greg Travland, who shot Ramon several
times in the chest while being wounded in the leg by Ramon, according to
the Odessa Police Department.
At approximately 2:36 p.m., the police received a call from Lou's Clinical
Lab at 115 W. Sixth Street.
Travland arrived at the business and contacted a woman, later identified
Estela Ramon, office manager for Drug Screen Compliance and Consortium of
the Southwest, in regards to a domestic problem. About 30 minutes later,
as the officer was taking the report from Ramon, a man identified as her
estranged husband, Joe Albert Ramon, entered the building and began firing
at Estela Ramon, who was shot and killed.
Joe Albert Ramon and Cpl. Travland, then exchanged shots inside the business,
the Odessa police report said.
As a result of the exchange of gunfire, Cpl. Travland suffered a single
gunshot wound to the upper area of his left thigh. Joe Albert Ramon suffered
multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Both were transported by ambulance
to Medical Center Hospital and were immediately taken to surgery for treatment
of their injuries.
Cpl. Travland is the son of J.E. Travland and the stepson of Catherine
Ashley-Travland of Pecos.
"He's doing good," said J.E. Travland. "We went over there yesterday to
see him and we'll be going again today."
Travland said that for security reasons he could not say which hospital
his son is currently in. "He has a wife in Odessa and two children and we're
glad he's doing well," said Travland. "We appreciate the concern."
Joe Albert Ramon and Estela Ramon had also lived in Pecos and are former
Reeves County Detention Center employees.
"They both used to work there, when it was called the LEC," said Reeves
County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "They were both friends, they had a lot of friends
here in Pecos and they were both very well liked."
Gomez said that two had moved to Odessa a few years back, but might still
have relatives in Pecos. "She was from Alpine, but Joe Albert had lived here
most of his life and still have relatives here," he said.
Currently, an investigation is being conducted in regards to this shooting
by the Texas Rangers, and the Criminal Investigations Bureau of Odessa Police
Department. In addition to those agencies, the Inspectional Services Unit
of the Odessa Police Department will conduct an investigation as required
by Odessa Police Department rules and regulations in situations of an officer
The investigation into the shootings is still in the preliminary stages.
Criminal charges have not yet been filed pending further investigation. An
autopsy is pending on the body of Estela Ramon.
Funeral services for Estela Valenzuela Cadena, 36, of Midland, are scheduled
for 2 p.m., Wednesday, at Our Lady of Peace Church in Alpine with burial
following in Holy Angels Cemetery. She was office manager for Drug Screen
Compliance and Consortium of the Southwest.
Geeslin Funeral Home of Alpine is in charge of arrangements and a funeral
director at the facility; Larry Cadena is Estela's brother.
A statement released by the funeral home stated: "Because of the tragedy
involved in the death of Estela, the family and funeral home will have no
comments or announcements other than the obituary provided."
Stock Show sale collects over $45,000
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- Over $45,000 was raised at the 2002 Reeves-Loving
County Junior Livestock Show & Sale held this weekend at the Reeves
County Civic Center.
Livestock Show Committee Secretary Cookie Canon said that 81 animals were
sold during the livestock sale on Saturday, which wrapped up the two-day
"That's every kid who ended up showing got to sell," she said.
Even though the steer that was shown on Friday night was not sold at the
auction it did not hinder the sale.
"It raised as much money as last year," Canon said. "Even without the
John Canon, of the Pecos FFA, sold his Grand Champion goat for $825 to
Mrs. James Canon.
The Champion Club, which was composed of approximately 27 community members
and businesses, bought David Bradley's Grand Champion lamb and Clayton Cox's
Grand Champion hog, each for $1,100.
Bradley and Cox represented the Reeves County 4-H Club. Cox also represented
the Pecos FFA
John Clark, of the Pecos FFA, who won Grand Champion in the steer show,
did not sell his steer in the auction.
Pecos Animal Clinic bought the Reserve Grand Champion lamb, shown by Adrienne
Bagley, of the Balmorhea FFA, for $550.
Mateo Tarango, of the Pecos FFA, sold his Reserve Grand Champion hog for
$600 to Security State Bank.
Lloyd and Carol Carson paid $1,025 for the Reserve Grand Champion goat,
shown by Conner Armstrong of the Reeves County 4-H Club.
Adriel Roman, of the Balmorhea FFA, won Senior Showmanship honors in both
the goat and lamb shows.
Mrs. Canon explained that this year was the first year a traveling Senior
Showmanship trophy was presented during the hog show to Balmorhea FFA member
Mrs. Canon said that the traveling award honors Harvey Moore, who has
worked with the Reeves-Loving County Stockshow for 40 years.
"He said that he started in 1962," she said.
A traveling trophy for Senior Showmanship in the Lamb show has been circulating
since the late 60s honoring Buck Miller.
Clark won Senior Showmanship in the steer show.
Pecos FFA member Mateo Tarango won Junior Showmanship in the lamb division.
Joshua Elliott, of the Pecos FFA, won Junior Showmanship in the hog show
and Tyler Hebbert, of the Reeves County 4-H Club, received Junior Showmanship
for the goat division.
Conner Armstrong placed first in the lightweight goat category while Chase
Laurence, of the Pecos FFA took second.
In the light medium goat category, John Canon won first place and Armstrong
Heath Armstrong took first and second in the medium weight goat category.
Laurence and Roman won first and second in the heavy medium goat category.
Heath Armstrong again took first place in the heavy goat category while
Arianna Alligood, of the Reeves County 4-H Club, won second in the same category.
Bagley won breed champion and reserve breed champion in the lamb-finewool
She also won breed champion in the lamb-cross category while Roman received
reserve breed champion.
Bradley and Tarango's medium wool lambs won breed and reserve breed champion
in that category.
During the hog show on Saturday Christopher Martinez, of the Pecos FFA,
won breed champion in the Duroc category while Clifton Brantley won reserve
Jack Stickels, of the Pecos FFA, and Jack Bradley, of the Reeves County
4-H Club, won breed champion and reserve breed champion in the Hampshire
In the OPB category, Cox won breed champion and Tarango won reserve breed
David Elkins, of the Reeves County 4-H Club, won breed champion in the
cross category while Tarango again won reserve breed champion.
During the barbecue dinner held on Saturday evening before the sale, a
hog donated by John and Jennie Canon was raffled off with the barbecue plate
Doug Cox won the hog that would be processed and delivered to his home.
The student that sold Cox the ticket was his son Clayton, who also won
a pair of boots from Desiree's Boutique.
Chili supper charge heats up campaign
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- Reeves County voters got their first official
look at their 2002 Democratic Party candidates, and their first controversy
of the election year as well, during a "Meet the Candidates" event
Friday night at the Reeves County Civic Center.
Former Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board president Louis Matta, who is
running against two-term incumbent Jimmy Galindo for Reeves County Judge,
accused Galindo and his supporters of lying about the future of the Reeves
County Detention Center if Matta wins the March election.
"People are being told by Judge Galindo and his people if they vote for
you (Matta) they're going to close down the Reeves County Detention Center
or fire everybody in county government," he said. "That's a lie. That's not
a way to win an election and it's not a way to run county government."
Ballot positions for the March 12 primary election were drawn following
a chili supper, and each candidate was given five minutes to speak following
their drawing. Those at the event also got their first look at State Rep.
Pete Gallego, whose 74th District now includes Reeves County,
and former Texas Secretary of State Henry Cuellar, who is seeking the 23
rd Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Henry Bonilla.
Galindo drew the top spot on the ballot and spoke first, and Matta made
his charge following Galindo's five-minute speech. That didn't give Galindo
a chance to respond to the charges at the meeting, but he did reply to Matta's
charge this afternoon.
"The first time I have heard those allegations was Friday night when Mr.
Matta spoke at the chili supper," said Galindo. "Apparently Mr. Matta has
proceeded to mislead people, because that is not coming from me or my campaign."
"Under no circumstances would we make such allegations, we have made it
a practice to run positive campaigns in this community and we will continue
to do so," said Galindo.
"The BOP doesn't care who the county judge is. They want a functioning
facility that will take care of their inmates well," Matta said on Friday,
referring to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which supplies Reeves County with
most of the 2,000 inmates at the detention center.
Aside from Matta's charges, most of the candidates' speeches dealt either
with what they would do if elected or in the case of the incumbents, what
has been done while they have been in office.
"Seven years ago my family and I moved back to Pecos to raise our family,
and I was recruited to run for county judge," Galindo said. "It has been
the most exciting and the most pleasurable experience I've ever had."
He said despite the decline in local industry during that time, "We took
the budget deficit by the horns and made the necessary cuts needed to make
a turn-around to the point where we are prospering.
"People want to see more jobs in the community and people made a point
of saying they need more things for our kids in the community," Galindo said,
citing the expansion of the RCDC over the past seven years, the creation
of the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department and last
year's cut of 18 cents in the county's tax rate.
Matta, who said he had just gotten out of the hospital where he was being
treated for pneumonia to attend Friday's event, said "It's time to make changes
in how county government is administered and who is involved in the decision
making in running the office of county judge," and listed five things he
planned to do if elected county judge.
Economic Development was at the top of the list, along with hiring a full-time
grant writer for Reeves County, while saying the county government should
have been better prepared for the November announcement by McCain Foods that
it would shut the Anchor West plant in Pecos, leaving 700 people without
"We should have foreseen that a long time ago and been prepared. Shame
on us for not being prepared," Matta said.
"No one should be shamed, as a matter of fact before Pennzoil closed down,
Reeves County embarked on adding 1,000 more beds and 200 more jobs in the
community to alleviate the closure of the sulphur mine," said Galindo. "And
on top of that, two years ago, we embarked on adding 1,000 more beds to the
facility and 200 more jobs for the community through the construction of
RCDC III," he said.
This is very clear foresight and a very strong commitment to economic
development by the commissioner's court, according to Galindo.
The other contested election on the Reeves County Commissioners Court
is in Precinct 2, where incumbent David Castillo cited his work over the
past four years and his business experience as manager of La Nortena Tortilla
Factory in asking for a new term.
"Our focus on economic development should be on small businesses," said
Castillo, who said he also was serving as chairman of the Reeves County Revolving
Loan Fund. "They would benefit more from our (tax) abatements than big companies
with deeper pockets."
Castillo's challenger, former postman Norman Hill, didn't offer any specifics
about what he would do if elected, saying "I've never been a politician.
I can't say I've done this and done that, but I can tell you about my family,"
Hill said, and later provided the night's most touching moment while describing
his 53 years since moving to Pecos and the death of his wife, Arlene, last
The other contested races in the March primary elections involved district
clerk and the Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace and Constable positions.
In the district clerk's race, incumbent Diane Florez cited her work in
expanding early voting sites in Reeves County and improving access to birth
records in the clerk's office during her years in office, while Abila called
for better availability of the county clerk and other office workers seven
days a week, and called for cross-training all office employees to be able
to handle all jobs in the department.
In the Precinct 2 justice of the peace race, six term incumbent J.T. Marsh
cited his background and training during his 24 years in office, adding he
had handled 51,000 criminal and 800 civil cases during that time. "I'm a
full-time JP, any time they've needed me. I've never refused to come out
in 24 years I've been a Justice of the Peace."
Salgado, who resigned as constable to run for the JP post, cited his law
enforcement training at Odessa College and added, "If elected the doors to
my office will always be open. I've had experience with JPs who've hidden
behind their secretaries," he said.
Jim Riley cited his work over the years both in business and as a member
of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, Pecos Kindergarten PTO president and his
own job as a contract pumper and work with computers, which he said could
help improve the JP office's performance. "I plan to serve the county and
do the job to the best of my ability," Riley said.
Constable candidate Jerry Matta said he also has taken Odessa College
law enforcement officers and has past city government experience as Town
of Pecos City sanitarian. His opponent, Clinton Glenn said he has been a
longtime resident of the area, having moved here from Arizona in 1964.
Both Gallego and Cuellar also spoke to those at the chili supper, though
both are unopposed in the March 12 primary election. Gallego, an Alpine native
who has served the area for over a decade in the Texas Legislature, will
face Uvalde County Attorney Pete Nieto in the November general election,
while Cuellar served as Secretary of State in 2001 after 14 years as a member
of the state House of Representatives.
Staff writer Rosie Flores contributed to this story.
Local job rate reported stable for December
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- Unemployment in Reeves County was unchanged
in December, according to figures released on Thursday by the Texas Workforce
Commission, but is down compared to the same time last year, while statewide
unemployment showed a two percent jump between December of 2000 and December
Reeves County is still facing the loss of 10 percent of its workforce
this year, after McCain Foods announced in November it would shut the Anchor
Foods onion processing plant in Pecos it had purchased three months earlier.
But those layoffs aren't scheduled to begin until March, and as a result
had no effect on the latest set of jobless figures.
The county saw its labor force shrink by 90 people from November to December,
while the number of jobs dropped by 85, to 6,456. That left 441 people unemployed
for a jobless rate of 6.4 percent. That's above the average for both the
Permian Basin and for Texas as a whole, but is still down from 7.5 percent
a year ago, when Reeves County had 6,307 jobs and 513 people unemployed.
The numbers were all about one percent higher for the Town of Pecos City,
where December's unemployment was 7.3 percent, the same as in November, according
to the TWC's adjusted monthly figures. Pecos had 4,981 jobs and 395 people
unemployed last month, and 5,047 jobs with 339 unemployed in November.
Joblessness in the city stood at 8.6 percent in December of 2001, with
4,866 people empoloyed and 459 without jobs, according to the TWC.
Across the area, joblessness overall showed a slight decline for most
cities, with joblessness in the Permian Basin falling from 4.0 to 3.9 percent.
Andrews, Midland, Pecos and Winkler counties were among those reporting unemployment
rate drops, while Ector and Ward counties both saw their rates increase by
one-tenth of a percent.
Statewide, unemployment hit 5.7 percent, sharply higher than the 3.7 percent
rate of just a year ago, the TWC said. The seasonally adjusted unemployment
rate rose from November's 5.5 percent, a figurer that was revised upward
from the commission's original November estimate of 5.4 percent.
The commission said the largest job losses, 4,800 positions, fell in transportation,
communications and public utilities. That figure largely reflected layoffs
at Enron Corp., the energy-trading giant that filed for bankruptcy in December.
Air transportation was down for the fourth straight month, with a loss
of 700 jobs. Three major airlines are based in Texas, and all have been affected
by the recession and a downturn in travel since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The statewide jobless rate actually fell to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent
if seasonal trends are ignored, the commission said.
Following are the December unemployment rates for Texas metropolitan areas,
with November numbers in parentheses. The figures were not seasonally adjusted.
Abilene 3.3 (1.9); Amarillo 3.0 (2.9); Austin-San Marcos 4.5 (4.7); Beaumont-Port
Arthur 7.2 (7.4); Brazoria 5.3 (5.6); Brownsville-Harlingen 8.8 (9.7); Bryan-College
Station 1.4 (1.5); Corpus Christi 5.3 (5.2); Dallas 5.6 (5.8);
El Paso 7.2 (7.9); Fort Worth-Arlington 4.7 (4.8); Galveston-Texas City
6.0 (6.0); Houston 4.4 (4.4); Killeen-Temple 4.2 (4.4); Laredo 6.3 (6.3);
Longview-Marshall 5.6 (5.6); Lubbock 2.2 (2.2); McAllen-Edinburg-Mission
Odessa-Midland 3.9 (4.0); San Angelo 2.6 (2.8); San Antonio 4.1 (4.5);
Sherman-Denison 6.5 (6.5); Texarkana 4.2 (4.1); Tyler 4.5 (4.8); Victoria
3.9 (3.9); Waco 3.7 (3.8); Wichita Falls 3.7 (4.0)
Chamber banquet tickets available for event
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- Tickets remain on sale for this Friday's
Annual Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at the Reeves County
Ray Stone, who broadcasts the Dallas Cowboys Report on radio stations
across Texas and the southwest, will be the guest speaker at the banquet,
prior to the announcement of this year's award winners. John Grant will be
Master of Ceremonies and Rev. Bruce Abbott will deliver the invocation.
Retired board members will receive certificates during the special ceremony
and tickets are still available at the chamber office or by calling 445-2406.
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 21, 2002 -- High Sun. 66. Low this morning 27. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 30s. South winds 5 to
10 mph. Tues.: Mostly sunny and unseasonably warm. Becoming breezy
and warm. Highs in the mid 70s. SW winds increasing to 15 to 25 mph
by afternoon. Tues. night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s. Wed.:
Increasing cloudiness. Highs in the upper 60s. Thurs.: Cloudy: Breezy:
And much cooler. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs in the mid 40s.
Estela Cadena, Jesus Gomez and Simon Rodriguez
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 2002 by Pecos Enterprise