Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 31, 2002
West Nile virus linked to deaths of horses locally
By ROSIE FLORES
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
"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
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,
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
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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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
By JENNIFER GALVAN
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
"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.
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