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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Air Force's "Lonestar" scoring site dedicated

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., March 20, 2002 -- "Lonestar" was officially christened during a  ribbon-cutting ceremony held southwest of Pecos Tuesday morning.

"Lonestar" is the name the U.S. Air Force has given to its new Pecos Electronic Scoring Site, which is part of the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative (RBTI) program for B-1 and B-52 bombers operating out of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Barksdale AFB near Shreveport, La.

Oscar Saenz, narrator for the special event, welcomed everyone to the site. "On behalf of Brigadier General Wendell Griffin, the 7th Bomb Wing Commander at Dyess AFB, we welcome you to our ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Pecos Electronic Scoring Site, which has been giving the call sign `Lonestar,'" he said.

Pecos High School student Marisa Sandoval sang the national anthem, while Rev. Greer Willis of First Baptist Church gave the invocation.

"Today marks an important milestone in the development of realistic and integrated training airspace for our Air Force bomber forces," said Saenz.

The electronic scoring site is located just outside the IR-I78 low-level military training route, which has been used for years for flight training missions. It is part of a larger project by the Air Force and Air Combat Command in Langley, Virginia, to provide bomber forces a more realistic environment in which to train, according to Saenz.

Lonestar's purpose is to provide B-1 and B-52 crews' electronic encounters with realistic enemy threats and accurate scoring of their simulated bomb drops.

"Thanks to Lonestar, bomber air crews will receive instantaneous and invaluable feedback on what they did right and what they did wrong, and enable them to hone the skills required for combat," said Saenz.

Bombers have been flying in this area for nearly 40 years, and B-1's have been flying this route since 1986. The RBTI project was formally announced by the Air Force two years ago, with the construction cost for the Pecos site put at about $6 million.

The RBTI involves both the IR-178 route over West Texas and southeastern New Mexico and the Lancer MOA area in the South Plains, located west of Abilene and south of Lubbock.

"By utilizing much of what is already existing military airspace and supplementing it with modern technology and facilities, the RBTI effort is easily destined for success," said Saenz. "To use an old cliché, the Air Force is getting `more bang for the buck.'"

"I would like to think that we, the citizens of Pecos and of Reeves County, had a big hand in securing this site at this location and its supporting locations," said Saenz. "Lonestar is more than just an economic boost to the local economy, it's also a real opportunity to show our patriotism and unbridled support for the people who wear the uniform and are willing to sacrifice all to defend our way of life."

"This site and its equipment will give our airmen the best chance of survival in combat and we are proud that we had at least a part in making that happen," said Saenz.

Saenz introduced Col. James Rowland, 7th Operations Group Deputy Commander to the group, who said, "I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing this afternoon that cutting this ribbon that will symbolize the realization of many years of planning and work."

With this opening, B-1 B-52 aircrews will be able to receive more realistic and more efficient training, according to Rowland. "If anyone had a question as the importance of this project, they only need to turn on the news channel of their choice and listen to the reports from Afghanistan," he said.

"The successes of these bone and buff crews flying those missions are not from luck, the successes are the results of hundreds of hours of training," said Rowland.

"Those aircrews spent many hours in the cockpit on training missions _ mission which often had many non-productive hours flying from their bases to either excellent, but far away, ranges in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, or to local but non-integrated training areas that did not provide a realistic combat environment like that being faced by the aircrews flying into Afghanistan," said Rowland. "That is why RBTI was created, we needed an integrated and realistic training environment closer to home to better spend valuable Air Force dollars and provide better combat training."

While this will truly benefit the Air Force in producing highly training bomber crews for the defense of America, it also will benefit the people of West Texas through RBTI, Rowland said. A second site near Snyder is due for completion late this spring.

"This project has created jobs and will bring in an anticipated influx of over a million dollars annually into the local economies, this is truly a win for our West Texas neighbors," he said.

"And as neighbors, I want to re-emphasize our commitment to you, from the beginning of this initiative, we promised to work with you and be your partners so that the best results are achieved for all parties," said Rowland. "Because of your inputs, and the involvement of Senate and Congressional leadership, the RBTI has blossomed and not faced."

"A great example of this partnership is that the number of flights will not increase and the altitudes of those flights will not be lower than is currently flown here in this military training route," said Rowland. "However, there is even a greater example, for in any large project there are a few people that stand `head and shoulders' above the rest, these people are the ones who place the needs of other's ahead of their own."

Rowland told the group assembled that in this case, Terry Burkholder, with the support of his wife, Jean, was that kind of man.

"When the Pecos Electronic Scoring Site Project was floundering because we couldn't find property on which to locate the building, Terry Burkholder stepped forward to help by acquiring a suitable piece of land," said Rowland. "Without any commitment from the Air Force, either verbally or financially, Terry secured this piece of property, it took a lot of guts, plus backing by Jean, for Terry to stick his neck out that far without a written commitment," he said.

Rowland presented a plaque to Jean Burkholder in memory of her husband Terry, who died this past October.

Visitors to the "space station" located on County Road 332 about 17 miles southwest of Pecos were given a tour of the facility, at the end of the presentation.

Herrera files to retain seat on city council

PECOS, Wed., March 20, 2002 -- A fourth candidate has joined the race for the Town of Pecos City Council, but several other races either remain uncontested or have no candidates for the May 4 election, with the filing deadline set for 5 p.m. today.

Incumbent Ricky Herrera has filed for re-election to the council today, the last day of filings for the May elections. Herrera joins fellow Councilman Danny Rodriguez in running for their two open spots on the council, along with two other challengers, Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides.

Incumbent Ray Ortega and former Pecos mayor Dot Stafford have filed to run in that election on May 4. Ortega defeated Stafford two years ago in the race for mayor.

The only other contested local race as of this morning was down in Balmorhea, where incumbent Balmorhea ISD board members Jimmy Barragan, Jesus Matta and Javier Lozano are seeking new three-year terms and will be challenged by Regina Lozano.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD election, two seats will be decided on May 4, and currently only two candidates have filed. Incumbent Billie Sadler is seeking a new three-year term on the board, while Paul Deishler is looking to regain a spot on the school board, after losing in last year's election.

Deishler sought a three-year term a year ago, and gave up the unexpired term he was appointed to in 2000. Michelle Galindo won election to that seat but has not filed to run for a full three-year term.

Down in Balmorhea, Ruben Fuentez is the only one person to file for election to the mayor's seat. That position became open last May with the death of second-term mayor Ismael Vasquez Rodriguez.

Current Balmorhea Councilmen Eddy Roman and Rosendo Galindo both have filed for re-election to their seats, and as of now have no challengers.

In Barstow, Mayor Benny Hernandez and incumbent council members Robert Ortega and Carol Gonzales are seeking two-year terms. Ortega and Hernandez filed for the two-year terms they were elected to in 2000, while Gonzales filed for the seat she was appointed to last year, following the death of councilman Lucio Florez in a July train accident.

In Toyah, current Toyah Mayor Ann Marsh has filed for re-election to her seat with no opposition as of today. There are also two council seats open for the May election, but only one incumbent, Sharon Sanchez, has filed for re-election.

In the Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors race, only two of the three incumbents have filed for re-election, with the other one being ineligible to retain his current seat, according to RCH officials.

Leo Hung is seeking a new two-year term as the at-large representative on the board, and Chel Florez is seeking to retain his Precinct 1 seat. However, Human Resources Director for RCH, Nadine Smith, said that Precinct 3 representative Jesse Prieto no long lives in that precinct. Prieto now lives in Precinct 2 and can only seek re-election by filing for Hung's at-large seat, according to Smith.

If no one files for the Precinct 3 seat by 5 p.m. today, the hospital board will appoint a new board member following the May 4 local election.

Finance reports show Galindo, Matta were top spenders

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., March 20, 2002 -- With Election Day come and gone, most of this year's candidates for  the Reeves County Democratic primary elections have submitted their  final pre-election campaign expenditure reports for the March 12  primary, though several reports have yet to be turned in to the Reeves  County Clerk's office.

The most recent reports, which do not include spending during the final week before the primary, show that Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo was the largest spender of any of the local candidates

Galindo, who won renomination as County Judge by just under a 2-to-1 margin over challenger Louis Matta, also outspent Matta by just about the same 2-to-1 margin through the first weekend of March, according to reports filed by the two candidates.

During his campaign, Galindo spent a total of $20,176.61 and received $17,700 in donations. Matta reported using money that came mostly out of personal savings to finance his campaign. He spent a total of $10,795.16 with only $3,500 of that in donations, according to the financial report.

"Most of it (the money spent) was mine," he said. "It was just out of my working capital."

Most of the candidates filed a final expense report before the elections in early March for the 8th day before election report.

However, few of the candidates were not required to file any expense reports because they filed a modified declaration report, which allows those candidates to run for office without filing reports.

Candidates that filed for modified reports include Linda Clark, Pat Tarin, Gilberto "Hivi" Rayos, Jerry Matta, J.T. Marsh, Clinton Glenn and Lamberto Herrera, according to Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez. Clark, Tarin, Rayos and Herrera ran for re-election in uncontested races on March 12, while Jerry Matta defeated Glenn in the race for Reeves County Precinct 2 Constable. Marsh is currently in a runoff election with Jim Riley for the Justice of the Peace position for Precinct 2.

Reeves County Commissioner candidate David Castillo has only turned in one expense report throughout his campaign for re-election but plans to turn in his final expense report which is due 30 days after the election.

"That way I can close out all the books," he said.

In Castillo's report that he filed in February, he reported spending $1,596.08 and receiving $800 in donations.

Castillo's opponent Norman Hill, who won the election for County Commissioner Precinct 2, was the only candidate who was able to spend less money than his contributors gave him.

Hill spent a total of $690 and received $723.83.

Individual donations and expenditures for the 8th day before elections are listed below:

Jimmy Galindo
Re-elected as County Judge

$50 or more: Robert Natividad, $75 on Feb. 2; Juan S. Galindo, $1,000 on Feb. 20; Weldon Brookshire, $150 on Feb. 22; Anabel Aguilar, $100 on Feb. 22; Randy Graham, $550 on Feb. 22; Cassandra Hoshor, $100 on Feb. 28; Blanca Barragan, $100 on Feb. 28; Ernesto Alvelais, $100 on Feb. 28; Veronica Sanchez, $300 on Feb 28; Leo Aguirre, $1,000 on Feb. 28; Manuel Salcido, $1,500 on March 2; Bruce Salcido, $1,500 on March 2; Julian Florez, $1,500 on March 2; Sam Patel, $75 on March 2; and Lazaro Baeza, $500 on Feb. 27.

$50 or less: none.
Total donations: $8,550

$50 or more: Pecos Enterprise, $742.92; Sam's, $296.98; Pecos Enterprise, $1,119.72; Pecos Enterprise, $698.36; Elliot Printing, $60; KIUN, $797.58; Ruben Ramos and The Texas Revolution, $5,500; Sam's, $88.75; KIUN, $436.92; Pecos Enterprise, $866.01; KFC, $96.04; Quality Inn, $117.32; Roman Bros., $800.

$50 or less: Triple I Supplies, $38.97; P-B-T ISD, $40; Reeves County, $30; Wal-Mart, $27.06.

Total expenditures: $11,756.63.
Louis Matta
Candidate for County Judge

$50 or more: Cipriano Matta, $100 on Feb. 24; and Juanita Davila, $500 on Feb. 28.
$50 or less: $350
Total donations: $950.

$50 or more: Home Depot, $290.11; Gibson's True Value, $355.70; Reeves County Sheriff's Posse, $350; Elliot Printing, $198; Chevron Oil Co., $100; City of Balmorhea, $125; KIUN, $125; KIUN, $200; Pecos Enterprise, $207.60; Pecos Enterprise, $737.88; Elliot Printing, $485.42; Needleworks, $562.90; Catalino Hernandez, $100; Pecos Enterprise, $216.30; KIUN, $480; La Tienda, $191.05; Crooked River Band, $250; Bob's Thriftway, $85.22; KIUN, $600; Pecos Enterprise, $188; Northside Cafe, $256.38; La Tienda, $1,658.28; Pecos Enterprise, $311.40.

$50 or less: De Coty Coffee Co., $27.20.
Total expenditures: $8,101.44.
Dianne Florez
Re-elected as County Clerk
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: Cruz Garcia, $20 on Feb. 19.
Total donations: $20
$50 or more: KIUN, $178.
$50 or less: Totally Sharp, $43; Sign Solution, $42.
Total expenditures: $263.

Sofia Abila
Candidate for County Clerk
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total donations: none
$50 or more: KIUN, $105.
$50 or less: none
Total expenditures: $105.

David Castillo (filed on Feb. 20)
Incumbent for County Commissioner Precinct 2
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: $800
Total donations: $800
$50 or more: KIUN, $165; Home Depot, $144.58; Allied Advertising, $1,286.50.
$50 or less: none
Total expenditures: $1,596.08.

Norman Hill
Elected as County Commissioner Precinct 2
$50 or more: Norman Hill, $71.17 on Feb. 22.
$50 or less: $28.83.
Total donations: $100
$50 or more: KIUN, $71.17; KIUN, $100.
$50 or less: KIUN, $28.83.
Total expenditures: $200

J.T. Marsh
Candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: $30
Total donations: $30.
$50 or more: Pecos Enterprise, $638.20.
$50 or less: Jim Leonard, $30
Total expenditures: $668.20.

Jim Riley
Candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total donations: none
$50 or more: Pecos Enterprise, $100.
$50 or less: Bob's Thriftway, $43.19.
Total expenditures: $143.19.

Clinton Glenn
Candidate for County Constable Precinct 2
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total donations: none
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total expenditures: none

Walter Holcombe
Elected County Court at Law Judge
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total donations: none
$50 or more: none
$50 or less: none
Total expenditures: none

Book fair planned for 4th-5th graders

PECOS, Wed., March 20, 2002 -- Bessie Haynes Elementary School is sponsoring a Scholastic Book Fair next week and on the Tuesday after Easter for the fourth and fifth graders at the school.

The fair will be from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. on March 25-28 and on April 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., in Room 11.

A wide selection of books, posters, CD-ROMs and crafts, along with Harry Potter merchandise, will be available.

Enrich your child's vocabulary, imagination and reading skills with books from the book fair.


PECOS, Wed., March 20, 2002 -- High Tues. 60. Low this morning 42. Rainfall last 24 hours at  Texas A&M Experiment Station .05 inch. Forecast for tonight:  Clear. Lows  35 to 40 with light and variable winds. Thurs.:  Sunny and warmer. Highs  in the lower 70s. SW winds 5 to 15 mph:  Becoming NE 10 to 20 mph during  the afternoon. Thurs. night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Fri.: Partly cloudy  and cooler. Highs 60 to 65. Sat.: Partly cloudy. Lows 45 to 50. Highs 75 to 80.


Jose Fuentes

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