Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Teen jailed after shooting now charged in stabbing
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 - A local gang member who was arrested earlier this month
following the shooting of a 16-year-old Pecos boy was arrested again
Monday night and charged with the stabbing of another 16-year old Pecos boy
at the Sonic Drive-Thru on West Third Street.
According to Pecos Police Lt. Kelly Davis, a call came in at 8:56
p.m. about a fight in progress at the local Sonic Drive-Thru, in which
weapons were involved.
Lt. Davis said that the suspect was arrested after a short
"When policemen arrived they apprehended the suspect leaving
the scene," Davis said.
The suspect was identified as 17-year old Fabian Orona, a member
of the BPG gang.
Davis said that they believe this incident may also be related to
a previous incident.
"Both members belong to a gang," Davis said. "But relevant to
a different incident."
Davis went on to say that Orona was the only gang member who
took part in this incident.
"He was the only one involved in this particular deal," he said.
At this point, Davis said that police have a large number of
eyewitnesses and they still will be interviewing people.
The weapon, a knife, was recovered, he said.
According to Davis the victim is doing well and suffered no
"He is doing good. He was not transported to the hospital,"
Davis said. "It did not look like a serious injury."
It was the second arrest for Orona in the past nine days.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 4, he was arrested along with
three others following the shooting of 16-year-old Ysidro Acosta.
Acosta was shot in the head with a small caliber weapon in the
1200 block of South Cherry Street. He is continuing to recover from his
wound at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
As of today no one has been charged with the shooting, but
police arrested four others at the scene on separate charges.
The four were identified by police as Orona, Peter Barreno, 18,
Gilbert Placencia, 21 and James Burciaga, also 21. Orona and Placencia were
all arrested for disorderly conduct.
Barreno was also arrested for disorderly conduct and for
"They do not want to talk to us," Davis said following the Aug.
Barreno and Placencia are also members of the BPG gang, Davis said.
Following Tuesday night's stabbing incident Davis said
Orona was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and
"He will see the judge this morning," Lt. Davis said. "If he
can make bond he will be out."
Red Bluff turns to request for cloud seeding funds
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 -Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members gave their
support to a proposal to save the habitat of the Pecos River pupfish while at
the same time keeping it off the endangered species list, but
turned down a request to contribute funds for a weather modification
project, during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday at the district's office
Tom Nance of the Ward County Water Improvement District No. 1
in Barstow made the request to the board earlier this year to help
sponsor the program, which would involve seeding clouds with silver
iodide crystals over Reeves and surrounding counties. The cost of
the program was put at between 8 and 9 cents an acre earlier this year
by George Bomar, a meteorologist with the Texas Department of
Licensing and Regulation, who has been the longtime supervisor for the State
of Texas' cloud seeding programs.
For the area involved, it would mean the project would cost
about $350,000, out of which half would come from state and half from
local funds. Nance said the state of New Mexico was also willing to help
with funding for Lea and Eddy counties, where most of the water that
feeds into Red Bluff Lake originates.
"I just want to see if you all want to contribute any money at all or
give your support to the weather modification program," Nance
said, and while the board was willing to help fund installation of
additional weather stations in the area to measure the program's results,
they declined to offer a financial contribution.
"I don't want to put in any money, but I do want to get some
baseline data," said board member Lloyd Goodrich. "Right now it's 60
miles between the points where the weather is measured."
"You say if you need weather stations put around the area we'd
be willing to do it," said managing director Randall Hartman before
the board voted unanimously against helping fund the project.
"I just hate to hear you're supposed to be here to help
the farmers, but you won't contribute a little bit," said Nance following
the board's vote.
"It's not economical for the way you're trying to do it, Tommy,"
said Goodrich. He said the number of cattle per acre in the
weather modification area that would benefit would not justify the costs,
while Nance said the number of cattle could be increased if the program was
able to increase the annual rainfall amounts in the area.
Earlier, the board voiced its support for a project presented
by Tim Schuman with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife
that would build a new fish barrier across Screwbean Draw, which feeds
into the Pecos River south of Red Bluff Dam.
The barrier would be designed to prevent the migration of
the sheepshead minnow further upstream in the draw, which is one of the
last remaining habitats for the Pecos River pupfish.
"We want to put it in upstream from (Ranch Road) 652
and downstream from (County Road) 453," said Schuman. The plan
also calls for removal of salt cedars along Screwbean Draw in order to
increase the flow of water there.
"What I want to do is help the fish out and hopefully help the
farmers out as well," he said, though Hartman said that through the first 2½
years of the Pecos River Salt Cedar Eradication program, they have
not been able to detect an increased flow on the river.
"My feeling is if they don't regulate us or cost us, I want to
be helpful," said board member Dick Slack.
Hartman said that aside from Schuman's proposal, he also
has talked with officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
in Albuquerque, who also have plans to remove salt cedars
along Screwbean Draw, which runs heavily during flooding, but at other
times dries up into standing pools that are still able to serve as the
Schuman said the fish barrier "would be more like a sediment
trap than a dam." The structure is designed to create falling water
to prevent the sheepshead minnow from migrating upstream while at the
same time avoiding creating any fishing hole above the dam.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Service biologist Gary Garrett, who also
was at the meeting, said the sheepshead minnow originally is from the
Texas Gulf coast, but was introduced as a baitfish into fishing holes and
lakes in West Texas. It then took over the habitats of the Pecos River pupfish.
Garrett said the state has worked out an agreement with
federal officials to avoid getting the pupfish placed on the endangered species
list, which could lead to federal control of water releases along the Pecos River.
"Under the conservation agreement we were given five
years to fix the problem. If after five years we've fixed the problem
everyone goes away, but if not, they're going to put it on the list," Garrett said.
In other action, the board approved accounts payable,
cash disbursements and the district's quarterly investment report, and
was updated on several other projects by Hartman.
He said work had been completed on clearing out roads along the
fence line on the east side of Red Bluff Lake, along with building a new road
below the dam in order to make inspection of the structure easier.
The board also voted to spend $2,812 to buy a spray rig to
spray pesticides along the fence line, which would prevent brush and trees
from growing up over the roadway again.
Hartman said work is continuing in New Mexico on
building evaporation pits for the Malaga Bend salt alleviation project, which
will divert a salt spring away from the Pecos River. Sun West Salt
Company will mine the salt from the pits, and Hartman said he is waiting
further word on the project following a meeting of company investors
later this week in Chicago.
The water report for July showed the lake level had risen slightly
during the month, to 42,360 acre/feet.
The total is still well below the amount needed to allow for
water releases to farmers downstream.
Only a minimal amount of water has been released this year, causing
the Pecos River to go dry in sections south of Barstow Dam.
Ward irrigation district theft suspect re-arrested
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 -A former employee of the Ward County Irrigation District No. 1
in Barstow, who was arrested on theft charges late last year, was
rearrested this week for a probation violation.
Marlene Briceno Roman, 33, was arrested for Motion to
Adjudicate and had been held in the Reeves County Jail.
Roman was transferred to the Ward County Jail in
Monahans today and bond was set at $50,000.
She was arrested in December 2001, two months after
an investigation was begun by local law enforcement officials into the
theft of funds from the irrigation district, which serves the Barstow area.
The Ward County Grand Jury indicted Roman on a charge of theft of
more than $20,000 and less than $100,000.
"She violated her probation, I don't know if she wasn't paying or
what," said Ward County Sheriff Mike Strickland. "And she has been
unable to make bail."
According to the indictment, Roman used her position as
Office Manager for Ward County Irrigation District #1 to steal the money
from Barstow area farmer Tom Nance.
Roman was forced to resign her position as WCID #1 secretary
in October, and Ward County sheriff's deputy Ben Dieshler called in
the Texas Rangers to assist them in the investigation.
Dieshler said in late October that the investigation began after
a complaint was filed, and deputies met with Texas Ranger Gerry Villalobos
of Fort Stockton. The water district's board of directors requested
an investigation into several irregularities at the water
district office, according to Dieshler.
Ward County Irrigation District No. 1 is one of seven sub-districts
to the Red Bluff Water Power Control District, which regulates
water releases from the Pecos River to farmers between Red Bluff Dam and the Girvin area in northeastern
Pecos County. Red Bluff board members assign water allotments each year to
the seven districts, and the boards of those districts in turn allot water to
the farmers in their areas. Because of the ongoing drought, the district had
no water to allocate for the 2002 growing season.
Chamber sets Hawaiian festival Labor Day weekend
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 -A big Hawaiian celebration is scheduled to bid farewell to a
long hot summer.
Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a "Hawaiian
Beach Party" and is encouraging all community businesses and
members to join them at the end of this month.
"We had discussed this at the last board meeting," said Pecos
Area Chamber of Commerce Interim Director Linda Gholson, and
the discussion continued at the Chamber's monthly meeting,
held Tuesday at noon. "We want to get everyone in the
The big event is planned for Friday, Aug. 30, which is the start
of this year's Labor Day weekend. Businesses and individuals are
asked to decorate their offices and wear Hawaiian or beachwear during
this day. Prizes will be awarded to the best-decorated business
"We'll need judges to go around and judge the businesses,"
A big finale for the day is planned at the West of the Pecos
Museum Courtyard, from 5-7 p.m. and will be hosted by Peaceful Garden
"Hopefully the schools will participate in this as well,"
Chamber president Kevin Duke told the group about the
Frijole Cookoff scheduled for the same weekend in Balmorhea. "We
help sponsor that also, so we hope that some of you can be there," he said.
The cookoff will be on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Duke said that the
motels in Balmorhea are booked, so out-of-towners will be coming to Pecos
"The motels are having specials for this weekend to accommodate
the people that will be coming in for that," he said.
Gholson told the group to try to get as many businesses
and individuals to participate in the Hawaiian Beach Party. "We want
to make it a huge success," she said. "And we want to make it fun
The recent wrestling match that was sponsored by the
chamber didn't make as much money as anticipated, but was still a
big success. "Maybe next time we can do something different, but all
the people that attended had a good time," said Duke.
"We're in the hole $168, but everyone really enjoyed it,"
"The wrestlers were really nice and signed autographs and when
KWES 9 was here they were on television," said Gholson.
Gholson said that the chamber's part in the event was to sell 250
tickets and the chamber sold only 129 pre-sale tickets. "Then they sold some
at the door, they sold 57," she said.
Chamber member Mark Zuniga said that even though not
many tickets were sold the individuals who attended had a great time.
"The kids were harassing the wrestlers, the wrestlers harassing
the kids," said chamber member Al Gomez. "It went pretty smoothly."
He said that everyone who was there appeared to be having a
great time and really enjoyed the event.
"The recent Fly-In breakfast held at the airport was a huge
success also," said Duke. "If anyone
sees Dennis or Isabelle Blanchard be sure and thank them for the event.
They did a great job," he said.
Duke told the group that kids had the opportunity to fly free and
a cantaloupe bombing contest was held for the pilots.
"The Lion's Club, some of those are members of the chamber as
well, provided the breakfast," said Duke. "Pecos provided great hospitality
and everyone had a good time."
Plans for the Reeves County Fall Fair are coming together and
the group that is helping to host it met recently, according to Gholson.
"This year we're going to have different events scheduled,"
said Gholson. "Team roping will be held in the arena and they will be
giving away two belt buckles and two saddles," she said.
Women's Division President Laura Briggs told the group that the
group will be meeting at noon today. "We have a full agenda to discuss and
the newcomer's baskets will be sent out beginning next week," she said.
Gordita, asado plates to be sold on Friday
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 -Gordita and Asado Plates will be sold on Friday at the Santa Rosa
Hall from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.
The Gordita Plates will come with two gorditas, beans and rice.
The gorditas will be available in green chile with meat or meat and potatoes.
The Asado Plate will be come with asado, rice, beans and one tortilla.
The cost for the plates will be $4. The cost for single gorditas is $1.75.
Calling 445-2302 can place a delivery order for three plates or more.
Diez y Seis Queen Candidate Crystal Muniz will sponsor
the Gordita and Asado Plate Sale.
PECOS, Aug. 14, 2002 - High Tuesday 102. Low this morning 72. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of evening thunderstorms.
A few storms may be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Lows in
the lower 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy with
a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs near 102. South winds 5 to
15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance
of thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. Friday: Partly cloudy with isolated
afternoon thunderstorms. Highs near 102. Saturday: Partly cloudy with
isolated thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. Highs near 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