Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, May 6, 2002
New candidates win most local elections Saturday
Stafford, Benavides, Valenzuela earn wins
in city races; Wendt takes RCH board seat
By LEIA HOLLAND
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
Neither Stafford nor Ortega where available for comment in time for this
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,"
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,"
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
"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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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
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
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
By LEIA HOLLAND
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
"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
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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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,"
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
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