Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 4, 2002
Officials still seek suspects in Monahans PD bombing
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- Law enforcement officials from federal,
state and local agencies continue to investigate a reported firebombing
that caused severe damage at the City of Monahans Police Department in
the early morning hours Monday.
Monahans Police Department officials did not say this morning whether
or not they have any suspects in the blaze, which caused an estimated $350,000
in damage. Other city offices that are part of the same building in downtown
Monahans suffered smoke damage from the fire.
Officials said Monday they suspected a `Molotov cocktail' _ a gasoline-filled
bottle with a flaming rag _ was thrown through a window on the west side
of the police station about 3:30 a.m. Monday, where the department's mailroom
and other equipment was located.
A Monahans police dispatcher discovered the fire after checking out
the sound of glass breaking, said Ward County Sheriff Michael Strickland.
No one was injured, but Strickland said the flames heavily damaged two
to three rooms in the station, including the department's radio equipment
and 911 emergency services. The rest of the station sustained smoke damage.
The dispatcher who discovered the fire immediately called for assistance,
and patrol units from the Monahans Police Department and the Ward County
Sheriff's Department responded to the call. The Monahans Volunteer Fire
Department responded and quickly brought the blaze under control.
The City of Monahans requested assistance with the investigation to
determine the origin and cause of fire, according to a press release issued
by the Monahans Police Department.
Monahans Police quickly secured the scene to preserve evidence of the
fire and state and federal investigators arrived in Monahans this morning
to determine what caused the fire.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Texas Fire Marshal's
Office, the Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers, Pecos Police
Department, Monahans Police Department and Ward County Sheriff's Department
are investigating the suspicious fire.
The police station is currently operating out of offices in the Monahans
city annex building, while the Ward County Sheriff's Department and other
local agencies are handling the department's dispatching and 911 calls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Vacation short for summer school students
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- Though the regular school session might
have ended for some students last Thursday, for others it was just a nice
three-day weekend until they began classes again on Monday.
According to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Summer School Principal Juanita Davila,
students that attend summer come for various reasons.
"Students that come to summer school come because they are retainees,
did not meet the attendance criteria set by the district or come for remediational
classes," Davila said.
The classes offered to the students are the four course subjects of
English, History, Math and Science. However, this year a 45-minute class
of physical education is also being offered to grades first through sixth.
This year's total of summer school students is over 300 according to
Davila, representing over 10 percent of the district's student population.
"We have over 300 students, about 317 or so in grades kindergarten through
eighth," Davila said.
With this many students attending summer school, Davila said that finding
a staff for summer school was not a problem.
There is one aide per grade level except for grades seventh and eight
grade, which share an aide. Then there are two teachers per grade levels
for kindergarten through fifth, sixth graders have four teachers and seventh
and eighth graders share four teachers.
Davila believes that the summer school program works for students because
they receive different teaching styles.
"We try to provide different teaching styles to try to reach those students
that were unsuccessful with the teaching styles of other teachers. Sometimes
we do and sometimes we don't," Davila said.
According to Davila, each student must pass with at least a 70 to be
promoted to the next grade level or they will still be retained at the
recommendation of the teacher.
A free lunch is provided to the students beginning at 11 a.m. for kindergarten
through second and then about every ten minutes the next class is brought
in. The last class is brought in at 12:30 p.m., but lunch is served until
"Breakfast and lunch is available to any child up to the age of 18-years-old
for free, whether they are attending summer school or not," Davila said.
According to Davila, they are still trying to contact students that
need to attend summer school because a criteria was not meet. Those students
can either go by the school or call.
"Right now we are trying to contact any student that needs to come to
summer school because of attendance. Any student that knows that they need
to attend summer school may come by or call and talk to Mrs. Mitchell,
Mrs. Lujan or myself," Davila said.
Students in grades first through eight attending summer school attend
Crockett Middle School and kindergarteners attend Pecos Kindergarten. Classes
for all students begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at about 3 p.m. for kindergarten
through second grade, students in grades third and fourth end at about
3:20 p.m. and fifth through sixth graders end their day at about 3:25 p.m.
Students in the seventh and eighth grade just come to the classes they
have not been successful in.
According to Davila the kindergarten has one bilingual class for kindergarten
that ends at noon, two regular kindergarten classes and a migrant program.
Unlike the summer school program that ends on June 12, the migrant program
will end on July 12.
Agent testifies on attack by Sierra Blanca man
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- Testimony began Monday and is continuing
today at the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse in Pecos in a trial involving
a Sierra Blanca man allegedly involved in a drug smuggling case that occurred
five years ago.
Sol Oden Thomas, of Sierra Blanca, is on trial for possession of marijuana
with intent to distribute and possession of a weapon after an incident
that prosecutors said involved both drug smuggling and a machine gun attack
on a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Defense Attorney Daniel Hurley, of Hurley, Reyes &Guinn in Lubbock,
started off today's trial session by cross-examining Supervisor Border
Patrol Agent Lonny Hillin about the incident that occurred on April 3,
The agent testified that the incident occurred on Chispa Road near Sierra
Blanca when Hillin noticed two trucks, one flat bed and one stake bed,
coming toward him while he was inspecting another vehicle he had stopped
along the road.
"The two vehicles were coming up toward me and made a rapid turn," Hillin
said during testimony.
Hillin explained that he was planning to inspect the two vehicles approaching
him as well, since they would have had to stop because his and the other
vehicle were blocking the road.
However, before he could those two vehicles turned and Hillin began
Once the pursuit stopped, Hillin said he got out of his vehicle and
climbed a small hill close to where the two vehicles had stopped and shots
were fired toward him.
Thomas is the man that allegedly fired the shots toward Hillin. The
indictment against Thomas alleges a machine gun was used in the attack.
The trial against Thomas is scheduled to run through Wednesday of this
School hosts workshop for parents
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- A Parental Involvement Workshop will
be held next Monday, June 10, to give parents information on what summer
school is about, according to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Summer School Principal
Parents will also be given information on the optional extended program
and on the Gifted and Talented Program and what they should look for in
Information will also be given on the new TASK test and on how to read
the reports of the test and to let the parents know what is expected from
the test, which will replace the state's TAAS test next year.
A consultant will be brought in from Region 18 to hold these sessions,
Two sessions will be given to the parents, with the first one running
from 1:30-2:30 p.m., and the second one running from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m.
"Parents just need to show up to either session. We will help them by
providing babysitting while they attend the sessions," Davila said.
She added that school officials encourage parental involvement and that
any parent wanting to volunteer their time to just go by Crockett Middle
School and they would gladly put you to work.
"Devil's cave" part of legend involving image
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of features
on historical locations in Pecos region
By The Ghost Writer
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- As we know where the Devil is, how
he was imprisoned in a cave down river from Ojinaga, we should now learn
of a great miracle that took place in Ojinaja about the time the Devil
was imprisoned. The story is told in Elton Miles' book, Tales of the
One day a stranger asked for a night's lodging at an adobe farmhouse
at the foot of the mountain where the Devil's cave overlooks the valley.
The lady fed the stranger and showed him to his room.
Next morning when the stranger failed to appear for breakfast, the hostess
opened the door to his room and to her surprise, the bed had not been slept
in and there was a mysterious box the size of a coffin on the floor. She
lifted the box lid and was startled to find a life size image of Christ.
She crossed herself and ran down the dusty road to the small church
in Ojinaga to find the priest. She related the story of the stranger asking
for lodging and how he never slept in his bed but left a large box with
a beautiful image of Nuestro Padre Jesus in side.
The priest accompanied the woman to her farmhouse and she showed him
the box where the image lay. He crossed himself for protection against
black magic and slowly lifted the lid. He said to the woman, "Senora, this
is a beautiful work of art. A miracle of God brings it for us to place
in our poor church in Ojinaga. But is much too fine a figure for our little
run-down church. We must have a larger and nicer building, one that is
worthy of this miraculous image."
The priest had asked the bishop in Chihuahua for money to build a better
church in Ojinaga without success. He now thought that the bishop would
give him the money if he could hear of the miracle and see the beautiful
image. The priest made plans to take the image to Chihuahua as soon as
That very day, the priest hitched a mule to a wagon and loaded the image
in the wagon and secured it with ropes. His journey took him at the base
of the mountain where the Devil's cave looks out over passers by. He crossed
himself and when the wagon had traveled halfway around the mountain, the
mule stopped. The priest yelled, beat and talked to the mule still he refused
to move. He said, "You are doing the work of the Lord." He climbed down
from the wagon and prayed that the mule would go on to let the bishop see
the image. The wind started blowing and it started to rain and then it
came in torrents. He concluded that the image wanted to stay where it was
intended and that it would never leave Ojinaga.
My "mature advisors" were discussing world events when one was accused
of being a pessimist. He proved that he was not a pessimist when he told
them that he had just bought 500 coffee filters. They agreed that a man
his age to buy 500 filters was an optimist.
SRSU, Main St. project plan business workshop
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- The City of Pecos Main Street Project and
the Sul Ross State University Small Business Development Center will be
co-sponsoring and presenting a business planning workshop.
The workshop will be held from 6-9 p.m., Thursday at the Pecos Community
Center, 508 S. Oak. The workshop is free of charge and open to everyone.
This workshop is designed to help people who are in business, thinking
of going into business, and/or are about to apply for a business loan by
focusing on: Who are their current and potential customers? Where are they
coming from _ geographically? How are you servicing them? What can you
do to attract your customers?
Other items will also be discussed. For more information or to register
call Tom Rivera at 445-9656.
Meeting scheduled to discuss proposals
PECOS, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 -- A meeting is planned for 7 p.m., Thursday
for all interested juniors and seniors and their parents, to make plans
for the prom and Senior's 2003 class trip.
The meeting will take place at the home of Anabel Aguilar, 2100 S. Plum
St. For more information contact Aguilar at 447-9170.
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