Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, June 3, 2002
Diplomas given to 164 graduates of Class of 2002
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- Pecos High School's Class of 2002 received
their diplomas Friday night at Eagle Stadium, with 164 seniors crossing
the stadium platform to receive their degrees at the conclusion of
the 90-minute ceremony.
Class valedictorian Candace Hilliard covered several topics during her
commencement address, thanking both friends and family members for their
help over the years.
"Of all the things I've learned over the past year, the greatest is what
it means to be a hero," she said. "From the tragic events of September 11
to the recent loss of a local officer, I realize a hero lies in each of us."
Hilliard had overall grade average of 98 and a local GPA of 4.333, and
received many honors and awards during her four years at PHS.
She is an All American Scholar, an Outstanding Student of America, on
the National Honor Roll, a member of Who's Who Among American High School
Students, a member of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference Ambassador
and Pecos' representative for Region 18's Outstanding GT Student of the Year.
Class salutatorian April Grace Hernandez made two trips to the podium
Friday, the first to deliver her address and the second with Desirae Tercero
for a duet on the song "Lean On Me."
"You all have made high school a wonderful experience for me," said Hernandez,
who was a transfer into Pecos High School as a sophomore. "I don't know what
emotion will arise when I walk across that stage, but I know it will be another
memory in my life."
Hernandez has been a member of National Honor Society for two years and
the PHS Student Council for one year. She competed in various UIL events
for two years, participated in One Act Play for all three of her years at
PHS and was on staff of the Eagle Echo and the yearbook committee for one
Guest speaker Dr. David W. Watts of the University of Texas-Permian Basin,
greeted the audience in both English and Spanish, and later told the graduates
that UTPB would match any local scholarship they receive, and would also
do so in future years.
He also stressed five points the students should follow to be successful
after graduation, and urged the graduates to continue their education after
high school, saying that getting good paying jobs without a college degree
is getting tougher. "The more you know about the knowledge explosion, the
less you will be hurt by it," Watts said.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members David Flores and Steve Valenzuela
handed out the diplomas to the students and to their parents on the stage
set up on the Eagle Stadium track.
Wrong-way drive on Interstate proves fatal
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- A two-vehicle accident took the life of one
Crooksville man and injured three others Sunday morning, creating a
detour for travelers traveling west on I-20 for several hours.
The accident occurred just east of the Frontage Road exit at mile marker
58 on I-20 and involved a 2000 Freightliner Tracker Trailer and a 1995 Nissan
pickup. According to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the
accident occurred at 6:48 a.m., Sunday when the tractor hauling a 2001 Utilities
Box Trailer, was traveling westbound on I-20 when it was stuck head-on by
the Nissan, which was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.
The pickup came to rest in the center of the medium adjacent to the point
of impact, and both the driver and one passenger in the vehicle were ejected
onto the westbound lane of the highway.
The two were identified as Beau Buchanan McDaniel, 24 and Markam Kolten
Perkins, 20, both of Crooksville. Justice of the Peace, Ronald Ray, of Prescient
2 in Ward County pronounced McDaniel dead at the scene at 7:50. McDaniel
was taken to Harkey Funeral Home in Monahans.
Perkins was taken to Covenant Center in Lubbock with serious head injuries.
McDaniel, the driver of the Nissan pickup, was found to have been intoxicated
at the time of the accident. No information was give on whether the passenger
had also been drinking.
Both men were oil field construction workers, according to the DPS report.
The tractor trailer ended up crossing the eastbound lanes of I-20 after
impact, and came to rest on south service road, about 486 feet southwest
were the impact occurred.
The two truck drivers in the tracker trailer were Humberto Medina Reyes,
58 and Jose Carmen Gomez, 41 both of El Paso. Reyes suffered from neck injuries
but is in good conditions at Reeves County Hospital. Gomez who also suffered
from neck injuries refused treatment.
According to Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer
Glenn Larum, the road was first closed between the Frontage Road exit and
Pyote at 7:30 a.m., then reopened for some time and then closed a second
time Sunday afternoon. Traffic was detoured onto the north service road of
I-20 while the main lanes were shut down.
"The second time it was closed was so that the DPS officers could take
measurements of the skid marks from the accident," Larum said.
Larum did not know the exact length of time the road was closed.
DPS Trooper Eric White of Monahans investigated the accident.
Former Pecos resident to head for TxDOT
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- A former Pecos resident and Pecos High
School graduate has landed a top position with the Texas Department of Transportation.
Maribel Pena Chavez heads up the Transportation's Department's Fort Worth
District, one of the largest of 25 in the state.
The district employs 743 people who oversee transportation in nine counties,
mostly in the western half of the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Erath, Hood, Jack,
Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise. District engineers
play a key part _ and are ultimately responsible for _ any state highway
project in their areas.
"I don't always know absolutely when a project is going to happen, but
I do decide which ones we're going to fund and how we're going to fund them,"
Chavez told the Arlington Morning News.
The district engineers answer to the Transportation Department's executive
director, who in turn is responsible to the state transportation commissioner.
Chavez lives in Fort Worth with her husband, Daniel. They have four children.
The only other woman ever to serve in one of those top spots is Mary Owen,
who heads the 407-person Tyler district.
Chavez was district engineer in Abilene from 1992 to 1998 and then in
El Paso for three years. She also headed up TxDOT's Pecos office in the 1980s
and has also worked at the agency's state headquarters in Austin.
After 20 years in the field, Chavez doesn't give much thought being a
woman in a still traditionally male industry. "I can tell you I never really
felt like I was being treated any differently," she said.
Chavez grew up just outside of Pecos and the family ran a cotton farm
and lived without indoor plumbing and running water. Chavez and her three
brothers entertained themselves by swinging from the rafters with potato
sacks and swimming in irrigation ditches.
Chavez, who had long been urged by her brothers to go into engineering,
paid for college by working summers as a roustabout for Gulf Oil, where she
and the otherwise all-male crews hauled drill pipes and inspected pumping
When she was pregnant with her daughter, who is now 16, Chavez insisted
on remaining on assignment _ she was working on a bridge widening at the
time _ until before she delivered.
Monahans police building gutted by firebombing
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- Monahans Police felt "the heat" this morning
and are hunting along with other law enforcement agencies for the person
who broke a window at the police station and threw in a device that
caused heavy fire and smoke damage to the police department's downtown
According to reports from the Monahans News, which is located across from
the police station at Second and Alice Streets, the fire started at approximately
3:30 a.m., this morning, after an unknown person or persons broke a window
in the front of the building.
Monahans News publisher Linda Stephens said someone broke one of the windows
on the west side of the police station and then threw in the flammable device,
which started the fire.
Police Chief Charles Sebastian did not release any information as to what
kind of device started the fire; he only referred to it as an "incendiary
Stephens said only the dispatcher was in the building at the time of the
fire and safely got out of the building before the whole place caught fire.
The police station was "gutted by fire," according to Stephens, but did
not damage the surrounding offices and buildings on that block.
Federal, state and area law enforcement agencies are assisting in the
investigation including the Pecos Police Department, the State Fire Marshal,
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Texas Rangers.
A press release is scheduled to be released sometime today with more information.
The Monahans police have temporarily moved into a City Hall annex building,
and Strickland said the sheriff's department is handling the police dispatching,
Schools offering meals for students, parents in summer
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will be sponsoring
the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided at the Crockett Middle
School, 1801 Missouri.
The program began today and runs through July 12. Breakfast will be served
from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through
Cost to adults will be breakfast $1.50 and lunch $3. Any child 18 years
of age or younger may participate.
Summer school students attending school at the Crockett campus are eligible
for both breakfast and lunch.
People who are eligible to participate in the program must not be discriminated
against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion
or political belief.
PECOS, Monday, June 3, 2002 -- High Sunday 106. Low this morning 68. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms.
Lows 65 to 70. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy
with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 90s. Southeast
winds 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Tuesday night:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Lows 60 to 65. The chance
of rain is 30 percent. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy: Breezy: And cooler
with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 80 to 85.
The chance of rain is 20 percent. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in
the mid 60s. Highs 95 to 100.
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