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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, October 31, 2002

West Nile virus linked to deaths of horses locally

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- At least three horses have died from West Nile Virus in the TransPecos region in recent weekend the disease has affected about 15 others, according to local veterinarians.

"We have had 15 cases involving horses that have West Nile Virus," said Pecos Veterinarian Dr. Ronald Box. "This is in my area which includes, Van Horn, Imperial, Ft. Stockton, Balmorhea and Pecos."

At the same, Monahans veterinarian Dr. Charles Sanders said another horse was treated for the disease in the Coyanosa area. Sanders said by the time he went to treat the mare she was paralyzed in her hind legs, but added, "She's doing better now."

Sanders said he has seen no cases in Monahans, but added he had heard about "quite a few" West Nile cases in Ector County.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an arbovirus (short for arthropod-borne virus) that may cause human disease, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, and can infect people, horses, and many types of birds.

It first appeared in the United States three years ago in New York City, and has since been spreading across the nation. It can be fatal if contracted by humans, and at least two deaths in Texas have been reported this year from the disease, in the Houston area.

The nearest reported case of a person contracting West Nile virus occurred earlier this month in the San Angelo area.

Box said that he has had 5-6 confirmed case of the virus in horses following lab tests.

"The others have the symptoms, but haven't been confirmed by the lab," said Box. "I have had three dead horses, and possibly a fourth," he said.

Box said the disease made it's way into the area about a month ago. "All of a sudden we had one horse die and then another become infected," said Box.

Treatment is supportive, according to Box, who said the disease affects the nervous system, which is hard to treat. "We still give them antibiotics and the anti-inflammatory drug, DMSO," said Box. "We don't know exactly how to treat it, because it is a viral infection, that's why we still give them antibiotics and the anti-inflammatory drug."

Box said that most of the horses that have been treated have responded really well to the treatment. "It seems to be endemic, and not all horses are affected the same way," he said.

"We recommend that they get vaccinated," said Box, who added that they do have the vaccine.

Box said that he expects another case or two, before the Trans-Pecos gets a killing frost, which will stop any spread of the virus by mosquitoes. "I expect that we'll only get a couple more and then it will be over until next summer," said Box.

The vaccination is administered in two shots, three weeks apart. "After the second shot, that's when we feel it's protected," he said. "Horses vaccinated will also need an annual booster."

Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will have no symptoms or only mild ones and will fully recover. Symptoms are flu-like, including sudden fever, headache, nausea, and body aches. In severe cases symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, convulsions, paralysis and rarely, death.

According to the Texas Department of Health, the risk of severe disease is generally low, 1 in 150 infections and usually occur in person 50 years of age or older. There is no evidence to suggest that West Nile Virus can spread from person to person or from animal to person. Humans and horses are considered dead-end host and do not contribute to the cycle or spread of the disease.

The rainy weather that has hit the Trans-Pecos area in the past 2½ months has helped increase the mosquito population and the chances of transmitting the virus. The Texas Department of Health recommends that until while temperatures remain above freezing people should be careful going outside at dawn or dusk, when infected mosquitoes are most active.

Long sleeves and pants also help reduce target areas for mosquitoes and the TDH suggests for extra protection, people may want to spray thin clothing with repellent.

DEET (chemical name, N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products; it is used to repel biting pests when you are outside.

People also are urged to drain standing water in your back yard and neighborhood from tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters and other places where rainwater may collect. These are mosquito-breeding sites.

Although West Nile Virus can be carried in the bloodstream of over 100 species of birds, of particular concern are blue jays, crows and hawks, which die very quickly when infected with the virus. The TDH is testing these types of birds for the presence of the virus. To be tested, these specific birds must either be sick or freshly dead (within a 24 hour period) to ensure tissues are viable for testing. Birds, which are decomposed, rotten or decayed or appear to have died for other reasons (killed by a cat, dog or hit by a car) will not be tested.

Persons finding a dead blue jay, crow or hawk can contact the Texas Department of Health, Zoonosis Division in their area. Staff will determine whether the specimen should be submitted for testing. Bird testing takes place at he National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin and takes upwards of 10 days for results.

Padded seats put pair in uncomfortable position

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- Extra padding in the front seats of a Mercury Marquis car traveling through Pecos got two men in trouble with local law enforcement officials on Thursday.

The Marquis was stopped for a traffic violation at noon Wednesday while eastbound at mile marker 35 on Interstate 20, five miles west of Pecos.

"I stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and while talking to the occupants, my canine, `Rex' alerted to the seats," said Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Officer Kevin Roberts.

Roberts said that the driver, Javier Enriquez, 22, was traveling to Oklahoma with a passenger, Magdalena Garcia, 17, both of Fort Hancock.

Officer Roberts was assisted by Reeves County Sheriff's Officer Lee Castaneda, who uncovered 10 bricks of marijuana, approximately nine pounds of which were hidden in the driver's and passengers seats.

"The marijuana was in bricks, with five bricks in each of the seats, in the cushions," said Roberts.

Roberts said that after `Rex' alerted them to the seats they did a thorough search and uncovered the bricks in the seats.

Enriquez and Garcia were arrested for possession of a controlled substance, (marijuana), over five pounds and under 50 pounds, a third degree felony and transported to the Reeves County Jail.

Budget reports, project updates on PHA agenda

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- The Pecos Housing Authority and Farm Labor Housing Board of Commissioners will review ongoing projects and discuss the 2003 draft budget during their regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. today in the Administration Office at Starley and Meadowbrook drives.

The 2003 budget draft and the monthly report for the month of October 2002 are the only items to be discussed during the FLH meeting, along with approval of the minutes from the board's September 26 meeting.

During the PHA portion of the meeting, the commissioners will also discuss the 2003 budget draft, monthly reports for this past month and approve the minutes of the September 26 meeting.

Under unfinished business, the board will receive an update on the 2001 capital funds regarding the landscaping project, dryer bents, splash blocks and the playground equipment.

They will also receive an update on their 2002 capital funds consisting of paving alleys on the east side development, the fencing on 10th and 11th Street, approving the sidewalks and the parking on the south side and the landscaping.

Besides the budget drive, other new business the board will discuss and approve includes the 2001 financial statements audit as prepared by Mike Estes, the revised 2002 investment policy and the investment of general accounts funds.

An update authorization signature cards for all PHA/FLH bank accounts, the advertising of the day care building for lease, and the annual inspection reports or evictions for failing inspection reports will also be discussed and approved by the commissioners.

Allison's descendant keeping family history alive

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- The great-great nephew of Clay Allison, Gerry Clay Allison, will be in Fort Stockton this weekend, re-enacting some of his great-great uncle's gunfights that occurred in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

"There will be two (shows) on Friday and two on Saturday," said Allison, who paid a visit this morning to the West of the Pecos Museum on East First Street.

Allison is the great-great grandson of Jesse Allison, a brother of Clay Allison, known as "The Gentleman Gunfighter." He died July 3, 1887 while delivering a wagon of grain. The wagon turned over and broke his spine, leading to his death.

"The whole town of Pecos turned out for his funeral," Gerry Allison said.

Clay Allison was buried in Pecos, and in 1987 his grave was moved from its original site to a location outside the West of the Pecos Museum, which has a permanent exhibit on Allison

Gerry Allison normally works in law enforcement in Colorado, but is also a Writer/Historian/Actor who has done 30 years of research into his family history.

Allison said that his great-great uncle was regarded by some as a cattleman who was both an excellent shot and a man who knew how to dress. He added that if Clay Allison ever said something it should be taken to heart.

"I have only found three incidents in which he got totally drunk," Allison said.

During his spare time Allison has begun a series of novels in which he writes about the history of the family.

"The first of five series will be out soon," Allison said.

According to Allison, his first book will be available through 1st Books in hardback and paperback.

"I encourage everyone to get their order in," Allison said. "I already have 4,000 orders for the first book and 1,500 for the second book."

Allison said that his first book titled, `The Life and Death of a Gunfighter, Book 1 Part 1, begins after the Civil War and end with the planning of Sarah's wedding.

In the second book titled, `Blood Moon over Cimarron," will begin with Sarah having her wedding and end with a cattle drive.

The information gathered to prepare the books about his great-great uncle's life has come from family tales and from working in movies.

Allison views the books to be for everyone because they are not all about gunfights.

"It is a family book," Allison said.

The books focus on Clay Allison's nine brothers and sister and his parents and are also books in which women can get involved in Allison said.

In being a consultant of history, Allison has been in movies such as Gettysburg and the movie North and South as an extra.

"I have also been in at least three John Wayne movies as a consultant and an extra," Allison said.

Allison also said that he and his great-great uncle have similarities that make them look like they were brothers.

Both the great-great uncle and his nephew moved west and married women from New Mexico and from Colorado, they both had two daughters, they both served in controversial wars, the Civil War and the Vietnam War. He added that they both have a hole in their right foot, they both have a scar on their forehead and they both have small hands.

Allison also said that he is friends with the descendant of another historical figure from the Old West, Charles Goodnight's nephew, and is an acquaintance of Wyatt Earp's nephew, who lives in Arizona.

While working in law enforcement Allison said that he enjoys promoting past and current history to children and his family.

"I enjoy doing this," Allison said.

"I am also the family historian," Allison said. "I try to pass it on to other family members."

Bake sale Friday in hospital lobby

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- A Bake Sale is scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday at the Reeves County Hospital Lobby.

Cakes, pies, muffins, cookies and more will be for sale.

The fundraiser is to benefit the Adopt-A-Family Program.

OC Pecos campus sets GED classes

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- Registration is scheduled for 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, at the Lamar AEP Campus Cafeteria.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, make-up registration will be held from 6-8:30 p.m., at the Lamar AEP Campus Cafeteria.

Any student who has not registered by the dates listed above cannot enter the class until January 2003.

GED classes are free of charge and classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, at Lamar from 6-8:30 p.m.

Instructors will be Rudy Martinez and Oscar Guerrero.

For more information contact the Odessa College Pecos Campus at 445-5535.


PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 31, 2002 -- High Wed. 56. Low this morning 45. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Lows in the mid 40s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Friday: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Highs in the mid 50s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri. night: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Lows 45 to 50. Sat.: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Highs 55 to 60. Sun.: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Lows 40 to 45. Highs 60 to 65.

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Pecos Enterprise
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