Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, April 29, 2002
Balmorhea cable waiting to see about KPEJ signal
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- The signal for Midland-Odessa's Fox network
station has been restored on Gomez Peak for viewers in Reeves, Culberson
and Jeff Davis counties. However, while Pecos cable TV customers shouldn't
notice any change, the manager of the cable company in Balmorhea said
they might not put KPEJ-TV back on their system.
"We had been off the air, due to a conflict between the transmitter,"
said Aaron Evans with Fox 24, KPEJ out of Odessa, which was forced off its
translator station on Ch. 18 last year when Spanish-language station KUPB
began broadcasting in the Midland-Odessa area.
"They have issued us a new frequency which went up today (Thursday) and
will be up to full speed next week," said Evans. Fox officials said last
year they applied to have a new signal on UHF Ch. 20 in the Pecos area.
KPEJ's signal was unavailable in Pecos for about five months, until Classic
Cable began receiving the signal via microwave relay, the same way it receives
KMID, the Midland-Odessa ABC affiliate. But the microwave costs are far higher
than receiving the signal via a translator station, and the Fox signal was
only available to Pecos cable customers, not to those in other area towns
or to people with antennas or satellite dishes.
The station's signal was out for local cable customers on Sunday while
the switch was made back from the microwave relay signal to the antenna off
of Gomez Peak, but had been restored by this morning.
Between June and November of last year, Classic Cable in Pecos carried
Fox Net, the satellite network that broadcasts Fox programming. However,
it aired only one Dallas Cowboys football game during the fall, causing a
number of local complaints until the KPEJ signal was restored.
"We will have all the Dallas Cowboys games next season," Evans said, which
will be available to all viewers in the area.
However, the manager of Balmorhea TV cable, Lawrence Neu, said he was
taking a wait-and-see attitude towards restoring KPEJ's signal, because of
the poor reception the old signal off Gomez Peak provided local viewers.
"Right now I'm probably disinclined to put KPEJ on because they never
had a good signal," said Neu, who has been offering Fox Net to customers
in Balmorhea. "Basically, what we'll do is talk with the general manager
of the station, who we're good friends with, and ask if he intends to provide
an adequate signal to the community. The old signal was snowy all the time,
and they had periods of outages where the signal wouldn't be restored for
three or four days."
He said being able to offer all the Cowboys games Fox will air next fall
"is an advantage to carrying the signal. We'd want to be able to restore
it for that reason alone," but said the company would do it's own testing
first before making any switch from the Fox Net signal.
"We'll go down there within the next couple of weeks and our technicians
will check it out to see if it's a good enough signal to put back on."
Evans said that KPEJ workers were in Pecos Thursday afternoon to do a
promotional entitled, "Welcome Back Pecos."
"We're taking pictures of businesses and individuals that will be featured
on Fox," said Evans.
The group was also selling "spots" for the station and welcomed any business
or individual to buy one. "They will be featured on Fox, but what we're doing
today is for free."
The segment will be aired sometime soon, according to Evans.
Movie Gallery has strong opening day box office
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- The staff of Movie Gallery celebrated their
grand opening with members of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Friday
morning at the new store's location, at 11th and Cedar Streets.
District Manager Lee Wagner said that the Pecos store is latest opening
of the over 1,400 stores operated by the video rental chain in 41 U.S. states
and five Canadian provinces.
Movie Gallery is the third largest video retail store in the nation and
has been in operation for 16 years with headquarters in Dothan, Ala., according
"It's just now expanding in this area," he said.
While Friday was first official day the store was open, Wagner sad that
they decided to open ahead of schedule at 2:30 p.m., Thursday.
Wagner said that the staff of seven did very well with the first day rush.
"It went great," he said. "Once word got out that we were open early
it just flourished." The store was also busy with first-time customers on
both Saturday and Sunday.
Wagner said that the store's seven employees and local manager, Suzi Vasquez,
trained in Andrews before the local outlet opened.
The new rental store offers new and old releases in both DVD and VHS formats
as well as video games for Playstation, Playstation 2, Nintendo 64, X-Box
and Game Cube.
Wagner also said that there are previewed DVD and VHS movies for sale,
all of which have a lifetime guarantee.
"If anything happens to the video bring it back and we'll replace it for
them," he said.
For the first six weeks the store is open, Wagner said that all video
rentals would be 99 cents each with a rental period of one day for "hot"
new releases and five days for all other movies and games.
Wagner also added that the late fees would be the price of a re-rental
Anyone would be able to apply for the free membership with two forms of
Wagner said he and the staff of the local store are looking forward to
the weekend and hope to see many new faces come in.
"We just want everybody to come see us," he said.
Movie Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday
and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., on Friday and Saturday.
Black powder rifle match scheduled for Saturday
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club will
hold the first black powder rifle match of the year this coming Saturday
at the club range north of town. The match will be limited to iron sights.
Shooters will fire 10 shots from a bench and 10 shots from standing. There
will also be a "Miss and Out" match if time permits. For more information
contact Ed Curtis at 445_1551.
Early vote lags 2000's turnout for local races
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- Individuals who want to take advantage of
early voting and cast their ballots ahead of Election Day, have just
two more days to do so.
"It's been going great, though not as well as two years ago," said elections
coordinator Debbie Thomas about voting in Pecos for local city, school and
hospital district races.
To have as many individuals vote during early voting as they did two years
ago, 200 more individuals would have to vote today and tomorrow, which is
the last day for early voting.
"Two years ago, we had 1,402 and as of Friday evening we had 1,003," said
"If we were to get 200 today and 200 tomorrow, we could tie that," she
As of 10:30 this morning, 18 individuals had cast their ballots early
at the Pecos Community Center, according to Thomas.
There were 368 ballots mailed out to voters and 109 have been returned.
Early voting is taking place at the Community Center, located at 510 S.
Oak St., next door to the former Pecos Police Department offices. Early voting
is also underway in the Balmorhea city and Balmorhea ISD elections, and will
also continue through April 30.
Voting is scheduled for May 4 at the different polling sites, including
the Community Center for Pecos' local elections; the Balmorhea Fire Hall
for Balmorhea for city, school and hospital elections; the Multipurpose Center
in Saragosa and Toyah City Hall for those individuals in Toyah for those
voting in both the school and hospital races.
City elections in Toyah and Barstow are uncontested this year, but both
the mayoral and council races in the Town of Pecos City and Balmorhea elections
are contested this year, as is the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea ISD
board race. Under state law, both Toyah and Barstow can cancel their city
elections in order to save money.
In the city election, Pecos Mayor Ray Ortega is being challenged by former
mayor Dot Stafford, who he defeated two years ago. Ortega is seeking his
second two-year term, while Stafford is seeking a third term as mayor.
In the city council race, newcomers Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides
are challenging Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera.
In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board election, both incumbents are seeking
new terms. Billie Sadler has filed for a new three-year term on the school
board, while Michele Galindo, who was elected last year to fill out an unexpired
term on the board, is also seeking a full three-year term to that school
The two are challenged by Paul Deishler, who was defeated last year in
his bid for a full-term on the school board, and Connie Herrera.
In the Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors race, only one
of the three races on May 4 will be contested. Jim Breese, of Pecos and Bill
Wendt and Janelle Ward, both of Balmorhea, filed for the two-year term on
the board for Precinct 3, currently held by Jesse Prieto. Prieto was unable
to file to retain his seat, since he now lives in Precinct 2.
Incumbent at-large board member Leo Hung, and Precinct 1 board member
Chel Florez are unopposed for re-election, but voters can still cast ballots
in both those races.
In Balmorhea, Mayor Ruben Fuentez will be challenged by Balmorhea ISD
Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz. In the city council race, Teresa "Terry"
Barragan and Yolanda M. Hernandez are challenging incumbent councilmen Eddy
Roman and Rosendo Galindo.
In the Balmorhea ISD race the three incumbents up for election are among
five people seeking three-year terms on the board. Regina Lozano and Dora
Machuca will challenge Jimmy Barragan, Jesus Matta and Javier Lozano in the
May 4 election.
In Toyah, current Toyah Mayor Ann Marsh in unopposed in her re-election
as is incumbent Sharon Sanchez on the city council and the only other candidate
for the two available seats, Shaina R. Enmon.
In Barstow, Mayor Benny Hernandez and council incumbents Robert Ortega
and Carol Gonzales are unopposed in their bids for new two-year terms.
Four runaways at youth ranch tracked down
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- Jeff Davis County Sheriff's Deputies
are still investigating how four children from the High Frontier Children's
Ranch escaped this weekend.
The four youths were all captured Sunday night and early this morning
on State Highway 166, west of Highway 17, according to the Department of
Public Safety. According to dispatches from the Texas Department of Public
Safety, the four were in possession of two guns they had stolen when the
search was conducted by are a law enforcement officers.
One of the guns, a rifle, was reportedly recovered at the time the first
two youths were taken into custody late Sunday night. The other two were
located early this morning, but there was no word on the recovery of the
More information should be released tomorrow after the Jeff Davis Deputies
investigate the incident further.
PHS concert band earns Division I at Dallas event
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- Pecos High School Concert Band members have
come home with a happy heart and a brand new trophy after receiving
three first divisions at the Sandy Lake Music Festival this weekend
Concert Band Director William Goff proudly explains that after having
a tough time at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest last week in Odessa,
his band was able to pull themselves together, make adjustments and play
their heart out at the music festival.
"They put it together and had a really great performance," he said.
Goff said that this first division means a lot to his band since it is
the first time in quite a long time that such a feat has been displayed.
"This is the first first-division by a concert band in 17 years," he said.
The last time any PHS band has traveled to the Sandy Lake Music Festival
was seven years ago where the 1995 Symphonic Band received a second division.
Goff said that for the past few weeks his band had to make some major
readjustments after losing little over half the band due to eligibility.
The remaining group of 42 students had to shuffle around music and in
some cases change instruments one week before UIL contest.
"They weren't all together ready for UIL," Goff said.
Goff explained that his band had some trouble during their concert performance
at UIL, which caused them to receive a third division.
However, the students were excited to receive a second division for the
sightreading portion of the contest, according to Goff, who continued saying
that no concert band had ever received a second division in sightreading.
After coming home from UIL contest earlier in the week, the symphonic
and concert bands traveled to Dallas on Thursday.
While in Dallas, the bands were able to take a relaxing break at Six Flags
Over Texas before the music festival on Saturday.
The day of the music festival brought with it a lot of heat, which effected
tuning for all the bands.
"They had to endure a tremendous amount of heat, which effected tuning,"
Before taking the stage at the festival, Goff said the band spent quite
sometime making major adjustments to their instruments since the heat changed
the sound tremendously.
Goff said however, the band took the stage and played better than they
had at UIL contest just a few days earlier.
"The kids made all the corrections on the UIL concert contest on Tuesday,"
The music festival judges loved the concert band's performance, according
"One of the judges said it was a neat and super performance," he said.
Goff said he is very proud of his band and was amazed that they were able
to made the necessary adjustments in such a short time.
"For the kids to put it together even though they had not rehearsed in
two days is really really outstanding," he said.
As for the band members, Goff said they were so excited they didn't even
want to let go of their trophy, which they presented to PHS Principal Danny
Rodriguez this morning.
"They were tickled when they got a first division," he said. "It was
The only other bands at the music festival to receive first divisions
were "first" bands, according to Goff.
PECOS, Monday, April 29, 2002 -- High Sunday 92. Low this morning 57.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows 60 to 65. Southwest winds
5 to 15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 105. West winds 10
to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 65. Wednesday: Partly
cloudy and breezy. Highs near 93. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows near
55. Highs near 83.
Marcos Martinez, Sr.
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