Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Pedestrian dies after Saturday night accident
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., Sept. 3, 2002 -- Services are pending for a Pecos man who was
struck and killed by a vehicle late Saturday evening near the intersection
of Interstate 20 and U.S. 285.
Hal Pratt, Sr., 61, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the
Peace Lamberto Herrera, at 12:10 a.m., after he was struck by a pickup truck
traveling southbound on U.S. 285.
The accident occurred at about 11:15 p.m., Saturday and police and ambulances
responded immediately to the 9-1-1 call placed by the driver of the vehicle.
According to police, the 2001 Ford pick-up, driven by Mark Gomez, 18,
of Pecos, was southbound on 285 on the East lane.
"Hal was walking on the east side of the lane and headed to the west side
of roadway diagonally on turning lane," said Pecos Police Officer Melissa
Roberts, who investigated the accident.
The driver started to swerve to the left and Pratt jumped back to the
left on east side. "He (the driver) swerved to the right and that's when
he struck him," said Roberts.
Pratt was hit near the entrance to the Quality Inn on U.S. 285, and the
force of the impact caused his body to land about 60 feet north, near the
entrance to Jim and I's Exxon on U.S. 285. Law enforcement personnel closed
off U.S. 285 between I-20 and Lincoln Street to through traffic for about
two hours, while the accident was being investigated.
Roberts said that no charges have been filed against the driver and that
it would be ruled as an accident. "It was nothing but an accident," said
Herrera did order an autopsy after pronouncing Pratt dead, and services
are pending with Pecos Funeral Home.
Gomez expressed his remorse at the scene of the accident. "He tried to
avoid him and he jumped in front of him," said Nena Gomez, mother of the
driver. "He feels really bad, he's very upset."
Task force jails driver with pot in SUV's tires
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tues., Sept. 3, 2002 -- A 24-year old man from Mexico was arrested
for possession of marijuana Friday morning after being stopped for
an unsafe lane change on Interstate 20 in western Reeves County.
According to TransPecos Task Force Officer Kevin Roberts, at about 10:15
a.m., Rafael Dominguez Lazos was driving east on I-20 when he made an unsafe
lane change on Exit-22 near Toyah.
At that point Roberts said that he stopped the white Ford Explorer at
the Toyah Texaco. He said the driver, from Chihuahua, Mexico was the only
"The driver was in route from Mexico to Dallas," Roberts said.
With verbal consent, Roberts began to search the vehicle.
"During the vehicle search I let air out of the left passenger tire,"
Roberts said. "The tire would not go all the way down."
When the tire of the vehicle did not deflate properly, Roberts nudged
the tire with his foot at which point he felt a foreign object inside the
"At that time the driver was detained and the vehicle was escorted to
Jim and I Exxon," in Pecos, Roberts said.
While at the gas station all four tires were broken down revealing a metal
box in which marijuana was being carried. There was a total of 95 pounds
inside the tires, with a street value of $50,000.
This is the second wheel load of marijuana Roberts has stopped with in
the last 30 days.
School board approves budget, $1.50 tax rate
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Tues., Sept. 3, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members unanimously
approved maintaining the current $1.50 tax rate on Thursday, along
with a budget calling for a budget of $5,053,093 for the 2002-2003
The board voted on the tax rate and budget during a special meeting at
the P-B-T ISD Technology Center after listening to Superintendent Don Love
and business manager Cookie Canon outline the spending designations for the
new school year, along with some possible changes for the 2003-2004 school
"There's not any fluff in it, but I don't think anybody is going to be
hurting from it," Canon said.
Included in the budget was a designated fund balance of $3,705,986. A
third of that will go towards paying back the Texas Education Agency for
extra money the district received during the 2001-2002 school year.
The district lost state funds due to both a decline in enrollment and
an increase in property and mineral valuations from the previous year. "I
figure we owe $1.1 million, but it may be $1.2 million," Love said.
Of the rest, $700,000 was designated towards work at Bessie Haynes Elementary
— $300,000 for roof repairs and an additional $400,000 for new classrooms,
if the district decides to close the adjacent Zavala Middle School and move
sixth grade classes to Bessie Haynes.
P-B-T Personnel Director Gome Olibas told the board that they could add
two extra classrooms at the school and still have one left over, based on
current fourth, fifth and sixth grade attendance.
Money is also designated towards air-conditioning the Zavala gym, which
is also used by seventh grade volleyball and basketball teams. Other projects
in the budget include $225,000 for roofing at Pecos High School, and $750,000
for repairing water damage to Building A at the high school.
Another $32,500 is to go towards an awning over the stands at the Pecos
High School baseball field, though Love said that could be put off if the
budget gets very tight.
The transportation department is to get four new buses, at a cost of $260,000,
and four new vans, at a cost of $88,000. The remaining $450,000 of the designated
funds balance will go towards three months of health insurance claims, though
Love added, "I hope we can get by on $100,000-$125,000."
After unanimous approval of the budget by the six board members in attendance,
the board then approved the tax rate of $1.50 per $100 in valuations. The
rate was approved by ordinance, read by board president Billie Sadler, after
Love said that was the preferred way for the Texas Association of School
The tax rate then was also unanimously approved, with board member David
Flores absent from Thursday's meeting.
"Nine Days of Hope" planned before 9-11 service
PECOS, Tues., Sept. 3, 2002 -- Santa Rosa Catholic Church is inviting
the community to join them for "Nine Days of Hope," in memory of all those
who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
A daily prayer will be held at 5:30 p.m., at the church located at 620
E. 4th, beginning today until Sept. 11.
Day one will be "Pray for World Peace"; day two, Pray for Forgiveness;
day three, Pray for Fire Fighters; day four, Pray for Law Officers; day five,
Pray for Military Personnel; day six, Pray for Unity; day seven, Pray for
Our Country; day eight, Pray for Victim's Families and on day nine, Pray
for Terrorist's Victims a holy hour will be held at 6 p.m. and a holy mass
at 7 p.m.
Everyone is invited to attend or to offer their silent prayers for those
who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attack by terrorists.
PECOS, Tues., Sept. 3, 2002 -- High Labor Day 97. Low this morning 68.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 65 to 70. Southeast winds
5 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 95. Southeast winds
10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Lows 65 to 70. Thursday:
Partly cloudy. Highs 90 to 95. Friday: Partly cloudy with isolated
thunderstorms. Lows 65 to 70. Highs 90 to 95.
Pedro M. Almendarez and Hal S. Pratt
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