Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, April 5, 2002
Observatory's visitor's center ready to open
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Friday, April 5, 2002 -- State Representative Pete Gallego and University
of Texas-Austin President Larry Faulkner will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting
ceremony of the new McDonald Observatory Visitors Center on Saturday
afternoon, at the observatory on Mount Locke, outside of Fort Davis.
The two will be among the invited guests and media representatives at
the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will be followed by a tour of the new
The general public is welcome to visit the facility on Sunday as part
of a free Open House at the Observatory, located 90 miles southwest of Pecos.
The new visitor's center is expected to attract as many as 130,000 visitors
each year, according to a press release.
"I'm pleased to report that Jeff Davis County, Texas now has one of the
best small science centers in the country," McDonald Observatory Director
Frank Bash said.
The new 12,000-square-foot visitors center houses an interactive bilingual
exhibit, a 90-seat theater, the StarDate Cafe and an astronomy gift shop.
The expanded outdoor venues surrounding the building will accommodate
more visitors than ever during the observatory's famous star parties, constellation
tours and solar viewing.
In addition to numerous families and vacationers who would visit the observatory,
the new center will take on a larger role in K-12 education.
"It's important to McDonald Observatory to promote K-12 science education,"
Bash said. "The new facility will help us excite students about science
and technology, and is designed to inspire them to pursue careers in those
The original center, which is now used as office space for staff members,
was built in 1980 to handle 20,000 visitors per year.
By 1988, the visitor's center was handling 130,000 visitors per year at
which time the observatory decided to begin raising funds for a new facility.
Since then more than $6 million were raised through contributions from
donors, foundations, grants, and revenues.
The festivities for media representatives are scheduled to begin at 2:30
Some polling site moved for runoff election
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Friday, April 5, 2002 -- Today is the final day for early voting at
the Reeves County Courthouse for the Democratic primary runoff elections,
while voters can also go to the polls on Tuesday in the two runoff
As of Thursday, 208 individuals had voted early and 34 mail-in ballots
had been returned. "We had 398 mailed out, but have only received 34 back,"
said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.
Contact the county clerk's office at 915-445-5467 for more information
or if you have questions concerning the Democratic primary runoff election.
The election will be held Tuesday, April 9 at six polling places in Reeves
County, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The only local runoff race is in Precinct 2, where incumbent Justice of
the Peace candidate J.T. Marsh faces challenger Jim Riley, while all county
voters are eligible to cast ballots in the U.S. Senate runoff election, between
Ron Kirk and Victor Morales.
A three of the normal voting boxes in Precinct 2 _ at the Pecos High School
new gym, the Toyah City Hall and the Texas-New Mexico (First Choice) Power
Co. Reddy room will be open as normal, but other election boxes in Precincts
1, 3 and 4 have been consolidated due to the limited number of races.
All Precinct 1 voters will cast their ballots at the Haynes-Sadler Community
Center on East 12th Street, while all voters in Precinct 4 will
cast their ballots Election Day at the Pecos Community Center, 510 S. Oak
St. Precinct 3 voters in both Balmorhea and Saragosa will vote on Tuesday
at the Balmorhea City Hall, while the Precinct 3 box in Pecos, Box 10 at
the Reeves County Annex, will be open as usual on Election Day.
Barstow voters also have two runoff elections on their ballot, and can
vote early until 5 p.m. today at the Ward County Courthouse in Monahans,
and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Barstow Community Center Along
with the Kirk-Morales race, Barstow voters will also be able to cast ballots
in the election for 143rd District Clerk in Ward County, where
Patricia Oyerbides and Pam Bingham are in a runoff.
Ward County has two other runoff elections that Barstow voters, who are
part of Precinct 1, will not be deciding. In Precinct 4 Commissioners, Eddie
Nelms and Glenn Garland, while voters in Precincts 2 and 3 will decide between
incumbent Justice of the Peace Ronold Ray and challenger Elizabeth Polanco.
Reeves County Democratic Party Chairman Bob Dean said that on Saturday,
the party will hold its County Convention at 10 a.m. in the 143rd
District Courtroom of the Reeves County Courthouse.
Delegates will be elected to the State Convention to be held June 14-15
in El Paso.
If you voted in the Democratic Primary, you are eligible to be elected
as a delegate to the State Convention.
"Please come and participate, I look forward to seeing you on the sixth,"
RCDC, cloud seeding on county's agenda
PECOS, Friday, April 5, 2002 -- Requests for payments to companies and
individuals working on the construction of the new Reeves County Detention
Center III project, and joining a proposed Trans Pecos cloud seeding project
will be discussed and action taken on Monday during the regular Reeves County
Commissioners court meeting.
The group will meet at 9 a.m., in the third floor courtroom and the public
is invited to attend.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on requests for payment on
the 960-bed prison expansion project by LMD Architects, Scott Thane Ditching
Service, Abco Fire Protection, Inc., ISI Detention Contracting Group, Acme
Electric Co, R.W. Jones and Sons, Howard's Mechanical, Inc., N.C. Sturgeon
and Carothers Construction, which is supervising operations on the project.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on enrolling Reeves County
with Trans Pecos Weather Modification Association after discussing the plan
with Tom Nance of the Ward County Irrigation District No. 1 last month. Nance
is seeking to get area commissioners and other governmental bodies to support
implementation of a cloud seeding program for the Trans-Pecos, which has
been under drought conditions since the summer of 1992.
Other items on Monday's commissioners court agenda include a contract
agreement between Reeves County and Hemphill County Juvenile Boot Camp/Detention
and change order No. 1 for Jarratt Dirt Work and Paving, Inc. for RCDC III.
Regular agenda items include: reports from various departments; budget
amendments and line item transfers; personnel and salary changes (RCDC);
minutes from previous meetings and semi-monthly bills.
Daylight Savings beginning Sunday in most of nation
WASHINGTON (AP) - Set the clocks ahead Saturday night.
Daylight-saving time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday, providing an extra hour
of evening sunshine until Oct. 27 for most of the United States.
It's also a good time to replace batteries in smoke alarms, safety advocates
Some parts of the country don't observe daylight-saving time.
Those include Arizona, Hawaii, the part of Indiana located in the Eastern
time zone, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
PECOS, Friday, April 5, 2002 -- High Thursday 75. Low this morning 48.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows 50 to 55. Southeast winds
10 to 20 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers
and thunderstorms. Highs near 80. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday
night: Mostly cloudy and breezy with a 30 percent chance of showers
and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s. Sunday: Mostly cloudy with
a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms early. Decreasing
clouds in the afternoon. Highs near 80. Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows
45 to 50. Highs 75 to 80.
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