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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Flores files for hospital board again

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- One more individual has filed to run in the May elections  and individuals have until March 20 to decide if they would like to seek  a position.

In the Reeves County Hospital board elections, Chel Flores has filed to retain his position on the board representing Precinct 1.

Leo Hung was the first incumbent to file to run for a new two-year term on the Reeves County Hospital board. Hung filed for the at-large position, which he was elected to in 2000.

All county voters are eligible to go to the polls to cast ballots for the at-large seat, while voters in Precinct 1 will cast ballots for the seat currently held by Flores, and Precinct 3 voters will be voting on the two-year term where Jesse Prieto is the incumbent.

Voters will go to the polls on May 4 in the area city, school and hospital elections, but so far, only the Town of Pecos City elections will be contested.

The mayor's race got its second candidate earlier this week when former Town of Pecos City mayor Dot Stafford filed to run against incumbent Ray Ortega, who defeated Stafford in the 2000 mayoral election.

Stafford is seeking a third term as mayor. A story on the elections in the Pecos Enterprise that ran on Monday had previously stated that she had run for her fourth term before she lost her bid for mayor to Ortega.

In the Pecos city council race, the terms held by incumbents Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera are up in May. Rodriguez has filed to retain his position and will be challenged by Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides.

Individuals wanting to file for a position in the Town of Pecos City election can pick up an application at city hall with Levario. The deadline to file in the election is March 20, according to Levario.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board election, Billie Sadler has filed to retain her seat. She is seeking a new three-year term on the school board. Michele Galindo, who was elected last year to fill out an unexpired term on the board, currently holds the other seat up for election on May 4.

Other city races include mayor and council positions in Balmorhea, Barstow and Toyah, along with the Balmorhea ISD board. So far, no filings have been reported in those races.

March 5 is the first day to accept applications to vote by mail and March 17 if a candidate dies on or before this date, his or her name is not placed on the ballot.

The deadline to file to run in the May elections for all local races is 5 p.m. on March 20, while the last day a person may register to vote in the May 4, election is April 4.

Early voting by personal appearance begins on April 17, at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak and April 26, is the last day to receive applications for early voting ballots to be voted by mail.

The last day to vote early by personal appearance is April 30.

Enterprise to change listing of TV channels

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- Pecos Enterprise readers will find their TV Guide listings in a new place beginning tomorrow.

In the past Enterprise readers found a pullout TV Guide section for the coming week in their Friday newspaper.

Starting tomorrow readers will find the day's TV guide listings in each day's edition of the Enterprise. Friday's edition will contain listings for Friday and Saturday.

Listings for Sunday will be printed in the Pecos Free Press, which is delivered, free of charge to every household in Reeves County.

"There are two reasons we are making the change," Enterprise Publisher Smokey Briggs said.

"First, we have had readers request that the television listings be included every day rather than having to keep up with the TV Guide section all week," he said.

"Second, the TV Guide section we have been publishing on Fridays has failed to gain the support of advertisers and without that support the section is not financially feasible," he said.

Briggs said that readers are welcome to call and voice their opinion on the change.

Ward County's election field jammed, Loving County's races quiet

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- Elections are heating up in Ward County while voters in  Loving County have a calm and experienced group of candidates during this  year's early voting period.

A total of 25 candidates filed for this year's March 12 Democratic Party primary elections in Ward County while a small group of uncontested candidates filed in Loving County.

Ward County Clerk Natrell Cain said that the number of early voters has picked up this year.

"We've had a good turnout," she said.

Cain reported that on the first day of early voting, which was Monday, Feb. 25, a total of 181 people showed up to cast their ballots.

Normally, approximately 50 citizens have voted on that first day in the past.

Cain also said that since the first day of early voting the staff at the County Courthouse has seen approximately 100 people voting each day and has sent out 394 ballots by mail.

Ward County voters in the primary election will have two choices for County Judge, including incumbent Sam Massey and Joann Widdess.

Cain also has an opponent for her position as County Clerk with Phelitha Kay Schmidt running for the four-year term.

The most contested race in this election comes from the five candidates running for District Clerk. Incumbent Pamela Bingham is challenged by Patricia Oyerbides, Jane Martin, Irma Tejada and Leona "Ann" Parker.

With current County Treasurer Nell Berry retiring after the elections, that race has three new candidates including Teresa Perry, Melissa Taylor and Mary "Miki" Mitchell.

Those are the elections Barstow voters, who are part of Precinct 1, will be eligible to cast ballots in, along with regional and statewide primary races, including those for governor and U.S. Senator. Voters in other Ward County precincts will also have several other contested races to decide.

Both County Commissioners Kathy Fausset (Precinct 2) and Rick McCurdy (Precinct 4) terms have expired, and both have filed for another term.

They both have numerous opponents including Coy Wall and Liz Martinez for Precinct 2, and Joseph "Eddie" Nelms, Norman Luckie, David Cutbirth and Glenn Garland for Precinct 4.

Justice of the Peace for Precincts 2 and 3 Ronald Ray filed for another term along with new candidates Bill Hare, Elizabeth "Liz" Polanco and David Watts.

Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1 and 4 Pascual Olibas is the only candidate that is not contested in next month's election.

Only incumbents filed for the numerous races in Loving County, according to Loving County District Clerk Beverly Hanson.

She is one of the six candidates who file along with County Judge Donald Creager, County Treasurer Ann Blair, Commissioner for Precinct 2 Jose Renteria, Commissioner for Precinct 4 Royce Creager and Justice of the Peace for Precincts 1 through 4 Regena Derrick.

Unlike in Ward County, Hanson said that the early voting turnout so far has been minimal in Loving County, which is the nation's least populated county.

"It's been slow," she said. "Everybody has been forgetting."

Hanson is not worried though, she said that since none of the races are contested no one is rushing to vote.

"They'll all come in at the last minute," she said.

Voters in Loving County may cast their ballots between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the Loving County Courthouse in Mentone until March 8.

The Ward County Courthouse will also be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday until March 8 for voters to vote in the County Clerk's office.

On Election Day, March 12, polling sites would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Cain.

Polling sites for Ward County will be located at the Barstow Community Center, the Pyote Community Center, the Wickett Community Center, the Grand Falls Community Center and in Monahans for Precinct 2 at the Convention Center, for Precinct 1E at the Sudderth Gymnasium and for Precinct 4E at the School's Bus Barn.

Bomber route over area gets official listing

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- A route for low level bomber training flights through  Reeves County that had been discussed by the Air Force has been officially  put on the map.

"The route that we have been discussing is actually on the map and being flown today," Lt. Col. Dwight Williams said last Friday. However, Williams said that Pecos or the surrounding area wouldn't see any changes.

"These are just changes for us and flight area mentioned puts a route on the map that wasn't there," said Williams. "So when they see the map they know when they're flying."

The change will reflect the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative (RBTI), which is designed for B-1 and B-52 bomber crews out of Dyess AFB in Abilene and Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, La. The bombers will fly a route that has been used in the past, looping around Pecos, and as part of the project a new electronic scoring site is being build for the Air Force in the Verhalen area of southern Reeves County.

The people that produce the charts only produce the primary route, according to Williams. "The route around Pecos is not the primary route and now this route is."

"South and west, and north of Pecos, we've been doing this for years, it just hasn't been on the map before and now it is the primary route and is on the map," he said.

Individuals who would like to know more about the route can go to the Pecos Municipal Airport and get a map, according to Williams.

"It's now published and charted," he said. "This is more of an informational thing and not any changes."

The RTBI project involves two separate areas of West Texas. B-1 and B-52 bombers will fly high altitude bombing runs over the Lancer MOA area between Lubbock and Snyder, while the IR-178 low-level flights will travel through the western Permian Basin and Big Bend areas, including the loop path around Pecos.

Air Force officials said in 2000 that the manned electronic scoring site southwest of Pecos would employ 31 people and bring $1.6 million to Reeves County annually.

The site will be located 18 miles southwest of Pecos, on land within the Conservation Reserve Program and about a mile nearer town than originally planned.

The RTBI route is designed to shorten the primary bomber training flight route from Dyess and Barksdale. The current route ranges as far north as Montana, with scoring sites in Colorado.

The Air Force is building another manned electronic scoring site in connection with the Lancer MOA section of the flight path, to be located near Snyder.

The higher altitude flights over the South Plains have already been challenged by a lawsuit filed by a group of ranchers and farmers in the area south of Lubbock, and a similar lawsuit against the RBTI portion of the plan could be filed by ranchers in the Trans-Pecos and Davis Mountains area, who say the low-level fights have scared their livestock and damaged homes and other buildings beneath the flight path.

Some of the same ranchers were able to successfully halt plans in 1999 to increase flights over the region by German Luftwaffe jets operating out of Holloman AFB in New Mexico, and after discussions with U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, the Air Force agreed to limit the number of flights per day under the RBTI program.

County's early voting total nears 450 mark

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- About 94 Reeves County voters took advantage of early voting on Monday, with early voting continuing through March 8 in the lobby of the Reeves County Courthouse.

Early voting for the March 12 primary election began on Saturday for county races, and 272 persons cast ballots on the first day.

"We have mailed out 301 ballots and 76 mailed back in," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez. That brings the total so far to over 440 ballots.

Early voting will be held weekdays from 8-5 p.m. at the Reeves County Courthouse until March 8, and Florez added that, "We will be in Balmorhea on March 2 (Saturday) at the Balmorhea Fire Hall, located at Fourth and San Antonio streets."

The last day to request an application for a ballot by mail is March 5.

"If anyone has not received their ballot they can contact my office," said Florez, or if they have not received their ballot, they can call the County Clerk's office at 445-5467.

Council to discuss Law Enforcement Center bids

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to award bids for the Pecos Municipal Law Enforcement Center during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., tonight at City Hall.

The Council will also discuss a status report on the possibility of reopening 10th Street next to Pecos Elementary. The request comes following the closing of the school prior to the start of the 2001-2022 school year.

Also on the agenda is the minutes of previous meetings, the financial report, accounts payable and the municipal court report.


PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 28, 2002 -- High Wednesday 57. Low this morning 29. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows 35 to 40. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Friday:  Partly cloudy and warmer. Becoming windy by noon. Friday night:  Increasing cloudiness. Becoming windy and colder. Lows 25 to 30.  Saturday: Cloudy: Brisk: And unseasonably cold with a 20 percent chance of  light snow. Highs 35 to 40. Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of  light snow. Lows 20 to 25. Highs 35 to 40.


Bill Oden and Santos Valles

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Pecos Enterprise
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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