Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map
Pecos Gab

Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000
Photos 2001
Photos 2002

Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, May 6, 2002

New candidates win most local elections Saturday

Stafford, Benavides, Valenzuela earn wins

in city races; Wendt takes RCH board seat

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City will have a new, but `veteran' mayor in  office later this week after former mayor Dot Stafford won the mayoral election  by 255 votes over current mayor Ray Ortega in Saturday's local election.

Voters also opted to elect two new candidates to the city council seats up for election, favoring challengers Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides over incumbents Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera.

Meanwhile, the closest race of the day was for the one contested seat on the Reeves County Hospital board, where Saturday's vote totals gave Bill Wendt a narrow victory over Jim Breese in a three-way race.

With a combined total of 1,157 votes in the early and election day voting, Stafford celebrated her victory with her husband, Joe, after the results were announced at approximately 9 p.m., on Saturday.

Stafford served as mayor for two terms after serving as a council member for a number of years. In the 2000 election, Ortega defeated Stafford by a 1,140-1,034 margin. In Saturday's election, Ortega received 902 votes.

Stafford will be sworn in as the new mayor during the regular Council meeting at 7 a.m., this Thursday at City Hall along with the two new Council members.

Neither Stafford nor Ortega where available for comment in time for this article.

Benavides and Valenzuela will be serving in elected offices for the first time following Saturday's vote. Benavides won the most votes with 1,132, while Valenzuela won 759 votes. Herrera picked up 707 votes and Rodriguez received 698 votes.

Benavides and Valenzuela both said they are excited about the results of the election and are looking forward to getting started this week.

"I'm ready to hit the ground running," said Benavides, who will be the second council member who works at the U.S. District Clerk's office, joining Johnny Terrazas, who was elected to a new term in 2001.

Valenzuela expressed her wishes to serve the community well during her two-year term on the Council.

"I hope to serve Pecos well and in the best interest of all the citizens," she said.

Both Council members said they have several ideas that they plan to bring to the Council's attention.

"I do have some ideas that I want to bring to the table," Benavides said. "I hope they'll be welcome."

Valenzuela said she was surprised that she and Benavides would be sworn in so quickly but she is ready to go.

"I'm ready to jump into things and do what I can," she said.

The Reeves County Hospital Board of Director elections took an interesting turn on Saturday after Breese, led the pack during early voting but ended up just 12 votes behind Wendt after the totals were announced for the open position in Precinct 3.

Wendt received 146 votes while Breese received 134 votes. The third candidate, Janell Ward, received 90 votes.

Wendt said he was pleased with the outcome of the race even though he was a little worried for a while.

Now he is preparing for his term on the Board and hopes to he'll serve the community well.

"I'll try to do my best to make sure I do whatever my constituents want," he said.

Wendt said he wants to make sure that the hospital is giving "the best patient care that we can afford to give."

Current Board members Chel Flores and Leo Hung, who were re-elected in unopposed races to the Precinct 1 and at-large seats, are both looking forward to working with Wendt, who supervises the Emergency Medical Service operation in the Balmorhea and Saragosa areas.

"I'm glad that Bill got it," Flores said.

Hung said that it is nice that they have a new member who has health care experience.

"He has a lot of experience with the ambulance service," he said.

Both Flores and Hung hope to continue serving the citizens of Reeves County well while serving another term on the board.

Sadler re-elected, Deishler regains position on board

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- A Pecos school board member who has served in that capacity for  a long time will be joined by one returning to the board following  a one-year absence, as the result of Saturday's elections.

Billie Sadler was the overall winner in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board elections, with 1,042 votes. Sadler won re-election to one of the two three-year terms up for grabs on the board, and will be joined by Paul Deishler, who picked up 982 votes to place second out of four candidates in Saturday's elections.

Deishler was actually taking back the seat he gave up last year, and which was won by Michelle Galindo. Deishler had been appointed to fill an unexpired term in August of 2000, but lost his bid for election to a full term last May, while Galindo won election to the remaining year of that term.

On Saturday, Galindo picked up 884 votes to finish third, while Connie F. Herrera had 712 votes.

Sadler, a former school teacher who retired in 1990, will retain her seat on the board. This is the fourth time that Sadler has run for the position.

"I served on the board in 1991 and stayed off for four years because my son (Mike Sadler) was hired by the district," she said.

After Sadler left his job with P-B-T ISD in 1999, Sadler ran again and won and on Saturday earned a second straight three-year term.

"I'm delighted I won again, I was so surprised, because I really didn't think I had a chance at winning again," said Sadler.

Sadler began teaching in 1950 and taught all elementary school grades.

Deishler is an investigator with the Pecos Police Department. He was in court this morning and was unavailable for comment.

Balmorhea re-elects city, school candidates

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- In an election year where Pecos voters decided to infuse some new blood into city hall and the school board Balmorhea voters stayed with their incumbent politicians.

In both the city elections where two city council seats and the mayor's seat were up for election, and in the school board race, where three of the five seats were up for election, Balmorhea voters returned incumbents to office in all six positions.

Mayor Ruben Fuentez gathered 128 votes to beat challenger Elizabeth Saenz who claimed 59 votes.

In the city council race incumbents Rosendo Galindo and Eddie Roman hung on to their seats. Galindo got the most votes in the open election with 110 while Roman received 95 to earn new two-year terms.

Close behind Roman was challenger Yolanda Hernandez with 85 votes and Teresa Barragan received 76 votes.

City Secretary Mary Garcia said that the voter turnout was a little heavier this year with about 192 voters voicing their opinion at the polls this year. Garcia said that last year about 160 voters cast ballots.

In the Balmorhea ISD school board race, voters kept incumbent trustees Jesus Matta, Javier Lozano and Jimmy Barragan in office for another three years.

Matta received 184 votes, Lozano 152 and Barragan gathered 108 votes.

Close behind Barragan was challenger Dora Machuca with 96 votes. Regina Lozano received 77 votes.

Write-in candidate Courtney Mellard managed to grab 70 votes in the race.

Early Sunday Plum St. blaze ruled as arson

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- The Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire is investigating the  cause of a fire early Sunday morning that destroyed a vacant house on  South Plum Street.

All fire units were called out to the fire just after 4 a.m., on Sunday at 105 S. Plum St. Upon arrival the firefighters found the rear section of the home, belonging to Rev. James Henderson, was already engulfed in flames.

"The house was vacant at the time," Brookshire said.

Brookshire explained that the owner, Henderson, had moved out of the house but he does not know how long it had been empty.

Since nobody was using the house, Brookshire said that the gas and electricity had been turned off leaving no chance of the fire being caused by faulty utilities.

"The fire is ruled as an arson," he said.

Luckily the fire did not damage any surrounding structures, according to Brookshire because of distance from the house and a metal fence, which served as a protective barrier between the building and a mobile home parked just to the north.

Brookshire explained that the metal fence was six-feet tall and "helped protect other structures."

With the house destroyed Brookshire said he is unable to determine what room the fire was started in however, he does know an approximate location.

"It looks like it started in the center of the structure," Brookshire said.

Brookshire said that no witnesses have come forward with any information. He is still investigating the fire.

"If anybody had information leading to the arrest of any subjects involved may be eligible for a reward," he said.

If anyone has any information contact the Pecos Police Department, Crimestoppers or Brookshire at City Hall.

Autopsy ordered into death of trucker found at rest area

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- A trucker was found dead Saturday inside his vehicle that may have  been parked for as many as three days at a rest stop in Jeff Davis County  and inquest is continuing.

Larry Gay, 57, of Cottondale, Fla., was reportedly found inside his vehicle shortly after12:30 p.m., Saturday, at a rest stop on mile marker 186, just west of the Interstate 10-Interstate 20 junction.

"He was inside his truck at the roadside park on mile marker 186," said Jeff Davis Justice of the Peace George Grubb, who is conducting the inquest. "He was inside the rest area."

Grubb said that the owner of the truck is notifying next of kin.

Gay, who is employed with Better Day Trucking, Inc., of Clinton, Ala., was enroute to California at the time.

"They were looking for him, because he hadn't called in," said Grubb. "Another trucker who was driving the same route, saw the truck there and pulled over to see what was wrong."

The trucker immediately notified authorities, according to Grubb.

Initial reports said the truck reportedly had been parked at the rest area, located just past the Reeves-Jeff Davis County line, for about three days.

Cause of death has not been determined and Gay's body has been sent for an autopsy. "At this point we don't suspect foul play, however, we'll have to wait until the autopsy is completed to determine the exact cause of death," said Grubb.

He added that the inquest is not complete. "We can't say what the cause of death was," said Grubb.

School changes calendar firms, plans physicals

PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD officials want local businesses to know that the school has changed the company handling it's sports calendars for the upcoming 2002 fall sports season.

Alpine Printing Co. will produce the official Pecos Eagle Sports Calendar for this fall, Pecos High School trainer Joel Birch said. Guy St. Clair Combs will be contacting local businesses this month and in June about advertising on the calendar.

Birch also said physicals for P-B-T students in Grades 6 through 11 will be given at the new PHS gym on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. by Dr. Gary Albertson of Family Medical Center in Monahans. Physicals will be $15 each and students must bring a completed medical history form, and their glasses or contacts if they use them during games. Students should also wear shorts for the physicals.

For further information, contact either your child's coach or call 447-7220.


PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 -- High Sunday 96. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight:  Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday:  Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 90s. Southwest winds 10 to 20  mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 65. Wednesday: Partly  cloudy. Highs near 95. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60. Highs near 90.


Lucy Hersha and Gaylon Bishop

Search Entire Site:

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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise