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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Dallas residents IDed as victims of I-20 rollover

Staff Writer

PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- The victims of Tuesday's rollover on Interstate 20 that left four  people dead and three others injured were all from the Dallas area,  Texas Department of Public Safety officials said today.

The accident happened at 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, when the vehicle the seven were in rolled over while eastbound on I-20, one mile west of Pyote.

Ward County, Precinct 2, Judge Ronald Ray pronounced Stanley Barrance, 40, Amanda Barrance, 14, Morgan Barrance, 10 and Tynell Sims, 18-months old all dead at the scene.

The bodies of all four victims were taken to the Heritage (Harkey) Funeral in Monahans.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety report, Stanley Barrance was wearing his seat belt when the accident occurred. However, Amanda Barrance, Morgan Barrance and Sims were not wearing there seat belts.

Three of the passengers injured were identified as Michael Dean Barrance, 44, James Ellis, 43 and Dion Sims, 7. Michael Barrance was taken to Ward County Memorial Hospital and listed under good conditions. He was treated and released. He was also wearing his seat belt.

Ellis, who was not wearing his seat belt, was taken to Ward County Memorial Hospital and then airlifted to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. He is listed in serious conditions with cervical spine and head injuries.

Sims, who also was not wearing his seat belt, suffered from head injuries and was taken to Ward County Medical Hospital but later transported to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. He is at the MCH's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

According to the DPS report, the vehicle, a 2001 Lincoln Navigator, was traveling east on I-20 in the north lane when it ran off the left side of the road and traveled 202 feet before overcorrecting to the right.

At that point the vehicle skidded another 133 feet, at which time the driver then overcorrected to the left going into a side skid before rolling the vehicle several times, for another 298 feet.

The vehicle then rested on the right side, across the east side lane facing north on I-20.

DPS Troopers Jason Anzaldua and Eric White, both of Monahans, investigated the accident.

Mayor seeking right to knock down City Hall doors


PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- Mayor Dot Stafford may need a chainsaw to get the doors down  at City Hall. 

After voicing her opinion publicly that the doors needed to be physically removed at the last city council meeting Stafford says that she has not been successful in having the doors taken down.

On Thursday the doors will be on the council's agenda for the first time and that is part of the problem according to Stafford.

"Those doors were authorized as an administrative decision," Stafford said. "The council talked about the doors but no vote was ever taken by the council."

A check of the minutes of the council meetings immediately preceding the construction of the doors showed that the council did not vote on building the doors, she said.

"If something was created with an administrative decision, then an administrative decision can reverse the same action. That just makes sense," she said.

A major plank in Stafford's recent campaign was the issue of the doors, which were erected last year, during Mayor Ray Ortega's tenure.

"Those doors need to come down. I want them down. City Hall is a public building. It belongs to the people of Pecos and we do not have the right to lock our citizens out," she said.

City Attorney Scott Johnson explained that the construction of the doors was an administrative decision made last summer by City Manager Carlos Yerena and Finance Director George Bejarano.

"The council and Mayor have oversight authority," he said. "However, the city manager has authority of day to day decisions."

Johnson pointed out in the City Charter that the mayor presides over the council meetings but does not have regular administrative duties.

"The mayor shall preside at the meetings of the council and shall be recognized as the head of the city government for all purposes, but shall have no regular administrative duties," the charter states.

The council discussed the status of the doors at the last meeting, at which Stafford asked to have it placed on the agenda.

A debate started on whether or not it was up to the council to make the decision to remove the doors or if it was solely an administrative decision.

When asked his opinion at that meeting, Johnson suggested that the council vote on whether or not to keep the doors.

In an interview this morning, he explained that he suggested the vote because there seemed to be varying opinions on who has the right to make the decision.

"That's why at the last meeting I suggested that the council make the decision, since there seemed to be some disagreement," he said.

The council will discuss the doors during the regular meeting at 7 a.m., tomorrow at City Hall.

Johnson said that he hopes the matter will be resolved at that time.

He also stated that he personally believed that the doors should remain up yet open.

"I think the doors should remain up but completely open during business hours," he said. "That way if there is a security problem there could be a barrier."

In other action scheduled for Thursday's meeting, the council will also discuss preliminary plans for the construction of two trenches for the Type I and Type IV landfills and the specifications for the Pecos Subdivision Housing Infrastructure Improvements project.

They Council is also discuss the final plans and specifications and approval for advertisement for bids for the EDAP project.

In regular business the council will discuss approving the minutes of the previous meeting, the accounts payable and the juvenile monthly report.

Future events are discussed by Chamber

Staff Writer

PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- With rodeo events having gone well over the past two weeks,  Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce members are looking forward to other  events scheduled for later this year.

"Rodeo week went smoothly and I think everybody had fun doing it," said Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Duke, during the chamber's July board of director's meeting held at noontime on Tuesday.

Duke said that he had heard good comments about all the events held during rodeo week, including the Golden Girl Pageant, Night in Old Pecos and all the rodeo events.

"We had a lot of workers and good volunteers that helped make everything a success," he said.

Interim Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson thanked everyone that helped during the busy week and complimented those who worked hard to make it a success.

Duke said that the group is planning a summit for Oct. 26 and encouraged members to try to attend.

"I also want to give a big thank you to the city and county crews, for all the cleanup and all the help they provided during rodeo week," said Gholson.

Gholson told the group that West Texas Wrestling will be coming to Pecos early next month.

"We have to sell 250 tickets and each ticket is $9," said Gholson.

Gholson said that wrestling committee would take care of the advertisement, the concession stand and everything else. "All we have to do is sell the tickets," she said.

The event is scheduled for 8 p.m., Aug. 3, at the Reeves County Civic Center and tickets will also be for sale at the Movie Gallery. "They'll be bringing `the Maestro' for those of you who know who he is," said Gholson. "They'll be here to paper the town and do some advertising."

"A different idea that was brought to my attention, is to have a city-wide Hawaiian theme for one day," said Gholson.

She said the event, if approved, would be scheduled for the weekend before Labor Day and each business could choose what they wanted to do. "They can dress wild and crazy and a have a luau with snacks or whatever," said Gholson.

"This is something to get excited about and everybody could just get together and dress up and have a party," she said. "We could conclude it with a mixer or something."

The event will be discussed again and details arranged at the next chamber meeting.

Women's Division President Laura Briggs told the board that the Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant was a huge success and that the group of women worked really hard. "I'm very proud of my group, they worked so hard and everything went smoothly," said Briggs.

The event was sold out by that evening and the show was very enjoyable. "I've heard nothing but good comments about it," said Briggs. "Everyone said that had a lot of fun and really enjoyed it."

The Women's Division is already planning on next year's event and a meeting to discuss new plans and ideas is in the works, according to Briggs. Robin LeBeuf will be next year's chairman for the event.

Briggs said they are still working on the Newcomer's Baskets, if any business or individual had anything to add to contact her or the chamber office.

"I'll be putting ads in the newspaper and on the radio to get it going," she said.

Fall Fair plans are also in the works, and the fair's organizing group is meeting once a month to come up with new ideas and refine old ones.

"This will take place the first weekend in October, for anybody that wants to help out," said Gholson.

She said that there is a possibility of having a glass blower at this year's event and the appraisers that were here last year, will be back again this year.

Night in Old Pecos turned out to be a good event this year. "I only got complaints from three vendors, but everybody was really pleased with the outcome," said Debbie Thomas.

"The city was wonderful, they did a great job of cleaning up, we had adult probationers that were going to help, but by the time they came out it was already done, so we sent them to a wider area," said Thomas. "We had the opportunity to clean up several more blocks because of them," she said.

"We were very, very pleased and didn't have any major problems on Saturday," she said.

Thomas said that the Karaoke also turned out to be a great event. "We had individuals waiting in line to do Karaoke," said Thomas.

NewsWest 9 will be broadcasting from the West of the Pecos Museum courtyard next Thursday and sponsoring an Ugly Dog Contest and a Hot Dog Eating Contest, according to Thomas.

"I hope everybody will come out and join us," she said.

Red Bluff board told salt removal project almost set

Staff Writer

PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members approved  the extension of a waterfowl hunting agreement, tabled action  on participating in a proposed cloud seeding program, and were told  the Malaga Bend salt alleviation project is almost ready to begin during  their first meeting in two months in Pecos on Tuesday.

The board had just enough members for a quorum at the district office on West Second Street, after failing to have enough members to hold a meeting in June. Those in attendance were told by managing director Randall Hartman that the long-delayed project to remove salt from the Pecos River at Malaga Bend is only awaiting final action by Sun West (Loving) Salt Co.

"It is finalized," Hartman said, referring to the various agreements between the district, Sun West and local, state and federal agencies that were required in order to divert salt spring water from Malaga Bend into man-made ponds, where the water can be evaporated and the salt mined by Sun West. "They've got to give us the money for the metering equipment, and they've got to drill the well."

Hartman said the U.S. Geological Survey places the monitoring meters in the river above and below the diversion site, and Sun West would then reimburse Red Bluff for the cost. He said that should be between $19,000 and $25,000.

The board heard from Tom Nance of the Ward County Water Irrigation District No. 1 on the proposed weather modification project. Nance was seeking the district's support and a financial contribution to the plan, but members were generally cool to participating in the project.

However, Hartman said any action would be tabled until the full seven-member board could vote on the plan. Board members Manuel Lujan, Jay Lee and Dick Slack were not at Tuesday's meeting.

Nance said the project would involve Reeves, Loving, Culberson, Ward and Winkler counties, and those in support are seeking a contribution of two cents per acre from each county. "With a two cent an acre contribution, the program can be run," he said, adding that 10 individuals also have agreed to contribute money to the project.

"I don't think you can economically justify it," said board member Lloyd Goodrich. "Even if you had water this country can only justify five cows a section."

Board members were more open to the waterfowl hunting agreement, which was re-approved for a second year. The agreement allows for duck hunting on the unpopulated east side of the lake to the north of Red Bluff Dam.

Hartman also told the board that most of the brush along a road on the east side of the lake had been cleared off during the past two months, and that a new road to make dam inspection easier also has been built and holes in the road across Red Bluff Dam have been filled in.

Cash disbursements and accounts payable for May and June were also approved by the board, along with the financial report, which showed the district had $118,461 in cash in the bank locally. June income totaled $7,077 while expenses were put at $21,885.

School board to discuss administrative changes

PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- Discussion of the 2002-2003 budget and possible tax rate and approval of the elimination of two administrative positions within the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will be topics of discussion at the regular school board meeting.

P-B-T board members will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy St.

School board members will discuss summary of finance for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 and approve a calendar to discuss budget and proposed tax rate.

Under correspondence school board members will read a letter from Paschold and Associates Safety Consultants, Inc.; Wal-Mart Foundation donation and the Pecos Eagle Athletic Booster Club donation.

Old business will include a report on renovations at PHS, CMS, ZE, BHE, AE, PK, and L-AEP.

Board members will discuss and approve student handbooks and Student Code of Conduct; election coordinator's contract; Texas New Mexico Power Company's new pole attachment agreement; milk/dairy products bid; bread-bread products bid; officer to calculate roll back tax rate; 2001-02 budget amendments and appointing representatives to the Reeves County Community Recreation Dept.

The group will meet behind closed doors in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code 551.101 et. seq., Section 551-074 (a): 1. to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee;

Or employment of a Zavala Elementary School Principal and a Pecos Kindergarten Principal.

(2). To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.

Board members will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session under Section 551.074.

Under regular agenda items the board will discuss and approve:

Professional personnel: resignations, retirements, appointments, reassignments, change of contract.

Tax report.

Depository securities report.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank balance report.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Date and time for next regular meeting.

Request for items for next agenda.

Board completes county appraisal protest hearings

PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- The members of the Reeves County Appraisal Review Board were busy during the first few days of this week listening to valuation protests at the Reeves County Tax Appraisal Office.

Chief Appraiser Carol King-Markham said that the ARB hearings began on Monday and finished up Tuesday.

"It went very well," she said. "Now we're just trying to get all the changes taken care of."

A total of 18 people protested their real estate and mineral valuations during the two days of the hearings with real estate on Monday and mineral on Tuesday.

Markham said that they wouldn't be able to get the certification until next Thursday at which time they'll have the totals.


PECOS., Wed., July 10, 2002 -- High Tuesday 94. Low this morning 72. Forecast for tonight: Partly  cloudy. Lows near 70. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy.  Highs 95 to 100. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy.  Lows near 70. Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Highs near 95. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a  slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows near 70. Highs 95 to 100.

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