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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Home Depot helps church hurt by scam

Staff Writer

PECOS., Wed., Oct. 16, 2002 -- A man posing as a carpenter from Florida has disappeared  after purchasing $3,000 worth of material from Home Depot in Odessa  designed to be part of a kitchen for a new local coffee house.

But as a result of actions by church members involved with the project, the materials for the kitchen will be donated at the end of the month by the Odessa store.

According to Danny Fitzpatrick of First Baptist Church in Pecos, a man by the name of Glen Tougher, his wife Cindy, their 17-year old daughter Georgina, and their youngest daughter Rachel showed up at his home.

The man had told Fitzpatrick that he and his family were traveling from Lehigh Acres Florida to San Diego after receiving a settlement from his father's estate.

And because their children were on a self-paced education program it was possible for them to travel from the east coast to the west coast in a two-month period.

However, during the family's vacation time, Tougher told Fitzpatrick that their room had been broken into. He said everything was stolen, from credit cards to $6,500 in cash, and because they had cancelled all of their credit cards, they were not able to use them to get home.

Only having a full tank of gas, the man asked Fitzpatrick if he could help them by providing them with a place to stay for the night and something to eat.

He also told Fitzpatrick that he would be transferring money into his account the following day.

With that Fitzpatrick and the First Baptist Church agreed to help the family out. He took the family to eat at McDonalds and provided them with a hotel room in Odessa.

While at McDonalds, Fitzpatrick said Tougher told him that he was a carpenter, and Fitzpatrick began to tell the man about the kitchen the church is trying to build as part of a coffee house on West Third Street.

After showing Tougher the plan Fitzpatrick said that he then offered to come back and build the kitchen, adding later that that he would donate the materials to build the kitchen as well.

He also told Fitzpatrick that he had a friend in Big Spring who had all of the tools that they would need to build the kitchen.

With that said, the man then told Fitzpatrick that he would call him so that they could meet at the Home Depot in Odessa the next day so they could purchase the materials.

Having to go to Odessa anyways, Fitzpatrick did not think that he would receive a phone call from the man.

"I wasn't sure whether to believe him," Fitzpatrick said. "But then he called me and asked me `Where are you at? I am waiting for you here at Home Depot.'"

According to Fitzpatrick, when he arrived at Home Depot, Tougher was outside waiting for him.

As they began to purchase $3,000 worth of material, Fitzpatrick said that the design of the kitchen began to change from simple to elaborate.

"We were purchasing kits to make the cabinets," Fitzpatrick said.

After the materials had been purchased, Fitzpatrick said that they brought them back to Pecos and stored them in their building.

But after that, Fitzpatrick said that things began not to add up.

"His friend from Big Spring would not show up," Fitzpatrick said. "The bank had never heard of him."

At that point, Fitzpatrick then went back to Home Depot and told the manager that he did not know this man.

"I don't think he is telling the truth," Fitzpatrick told the manager, Mike Jones.

Fitzpatrick then added that he only knew the man for about three days and that out of those three days he had talked to him for about a total of three hours.

The manager then told Fitzpatrick that he appreciated the fact that he was being honest with them.

And because Fitzpatrick was being honest, Home Depot said that they promised to donate the material on November 1.

"They promised to donate the stuff," Fitzpatrick said. "We will just have to build it."

Fitzpatrick said that he would be going back to Home Depot on November 1 and bring the material back.

"There were things that made me believe this man," Fitzpatrick said.

According to Fitzpatrick, Tougher had a brief case, which had a contract, and a plan of a house the man had apparently built.

"He even had a receipt book for some of the things he had paid for," Fitzpatrick said. "The family was also very supportive and creative about decoration ideas."

Fitzpatrick also said that the family kept saying how they have wanted to move to West Texas.

"The talked about Big Spring,' Fitzpatrick said.

However, he added that their friend who supposedly lives there does not have phone and his business does not exist.

According to Fitzpatrick, David Stevens had also given the man $300 to work on his roof. However, the man never showed up.

With that Fitzpatrick and Stevens then called the police and informed them of this man.

"After talking to the police we realized that it would cost us more to pursue this," Fitzpatrick said.

In helping the family, Fitzpatrick thinks that they lost about $250 to $300.

"We decided to forget it and let it go," Fitzpatrick said.

Though they will have to build the kitchen themselves, Fitzpatrick said that it is almost a Cinderella story because of their honesty, Home Depot has promised to donate the materials.

"Honesty is the best policy," Fitzpatrick said.

Abandoned house, dumpsters burned overnight

Staff Writer

PECOS., Wed., Oct. 16, 2002 -- Pecos Volunteer firemen were busy overnight battling two different  fires on the east side of town, both of which officials believe were  arson related.

Firefighters were called out to a dumpster fire at about 1:30 a.m., on Martinez Street.

"Two dumpsters out there were set on fire," said Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire. "They were deliberately set."

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the two dumpsters, according to Brookshire.

The second call came in at about 4 a.m., a structure fire at Sixth and Walnut streets.

Brookshire said that the house was empty and nobody was injured in the incident.

"It was an old abandoned, junked, one-bedroom house and nobody had lived in it for awhile," said Brookshire. "It had to have been deliberately set, because it had no electricity, no running water, nothing."

All fire trucks responded to the incident, which took about 90 minutes to extinguish.

"It was definitely set on purpose, but nobody was around at the time we responded," he said.

Brookshire said that if anybody has information about these incidents to contact CrimeStoppers at 445-9898; the Pecos Police Department at 445-4911 or the fire marshal at 445-2421.

Alpine shooters capture league's closing match

PECOS., Wed., Oct. 16, 2002 -- The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club High Power League shot its final match of the season Saturday along with a John C. Garand match sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Jim Tom Cardwell of Alpine won his sixth consecutive high power match scoring 428 out of a possible 500 points with an AR-15 type rifle, the civilian variant of the military's M-16.

David Arnold of Alpine was a close second with 420 points. Arnold also shot an AR-15.

Smokey Briggs of Pecos placed third with 414 points shooting a World War II era M-1 Garand.

Cardwell's shooting throughout 2002 earned him the top spot in the League standings for the year as well. League standings are computed by taking an average of a shooter's best three match scores. Cardwell's average for the year was 448 points, helped along by a club record 464 he shot in the August high power match.

Club Vice President Mike Mason took second overall for the year with an average of 422 points. Both Mason and Cardwell shot their winning scores with AR-type rifles.

Smokey Briggs took third place in the overall standings with a 421-point average. Mason edged out Briggs for second place by just six-tenths of a point.

Briggs shot his matches with an M-1 Garand.

Other notable shooters included David Arnold of Alpine (403) and Larry Longoria of Pecos (404). Arnold shot an AR and Longoria an M-1.

"Shooting above 400 is pretty fair shooting," Mason said. "You have to average the eight ring to shoot 400 and that is not easy."

Mason said that 2002 was the first year the Pecos club sponsored a high power league.

"High power shooting is sanctioned by the National Rifle Association and so are the leagues," he said. "At the end of the year the scores are sent to NRA national headquarters and shooters receive a classification."

Mason said that most high power matches involve either a 50 or 80-round course of fire with shooters shooting from different positions at ranges of 200, 300 and 600 yards.

The Pecos matches are 50-round matches, he said.

The Pecos Club also sponsored eight John C. Garand matches this year.

Mason said that the Garand matches are sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and that the scores from the matches are sent to the CMP.

"The Garand matches are limited to World War II battle rifles _ M-1 Garands, M-1 Carbines, 03 Springfields and 1917 Enfields," he said. "The club supplies the ammunition for these matches and the rifles have to be "as issued" by the military with no modifications. It makes for an interesting match."

Larry Longoria took first place for the year in the Garand matches with an average score of 272 points out of 300. Smokey Briggs took second with an average score of 255, edging out Masons average of 253 points.

At Saturday's match Briggs shot an M-1 Garand and won with a score of 256. Longoria took second shooting a 1903 Springfield with 228 points and Jimmy LaBaume of Alpine took third with an M-1 and 204 points.

"Shooting these old rifles with no modifications and using stock military 30.06 ammunition is a real challenge," Longoria said.

Mason said that the Club was planning on shooting a non-league high power match on November 9th as well as another John C. Garand match.

League competition will begin again in the early spring.

Benefit plate sale scheduled Friday at Saragosa Hall

PECOS., Wed., Oct. 16, 2002 -- A benefit Enchilada plate sale for Clovis (Bobby) Baca will be held this Friday, at Saragosa Hall, at Sixth and Pecan streets.

The plates will be sold from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. for $4.


PECOS., Wed., Oct. 16, 2002 -- High Tuesday 71. Low this morning 51. Forecast for tonight:   Increasing cloudiness with isolated evening showers  or thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 55. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph  in the evening,  becoming northeast 10 to 15 mph late. Thursday:   Mostly cloudy and cooler with a slight chance of showers.  Highs near 70. East winds 10 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is 20  percent. Thursday night:  Cloudy with a chance of rain and  thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 55. The chance of rain is 40 percent. Friday:  Cloudy  with a chance of rain and thunderstorms. Highs 65 to 70.  The chance of rain is 50 percent.


Fransisco Baeza

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