Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map
Pecos Gab

Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000
Photos 2001
Photos 2002

Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Rainfall beats yearly average for Pecos area

From Staff and Wire Reports
For the first time in a decade, rainfall totals for Pecos and  the surrounding areas will surpass the normal annual average, after the  latest round of showers this past weekend and on Monday.

Clear skies are over the Trans-Pecos today for only the third time in the past 18 days, but the extended period of rain helped boost year-to-day rainfall amounts above the 10.99 inches Pecos is supposed to average, according to the National Weather Service.

The Texas A&M Agriculture Experiment Station reported a total of 11.78 inches of rain so far this year through Oct. 31, while KIUN Radio Station estimated a total of 11.58 inches of rain through Monday's round of showers.

Rainfall amounts fell as low as 4.02 inches for all of 1999 in Pecos. This year's total will be the highest since 1992, when the city received 17.47 inches of rain, mostly in the first half of the year. Prior to 1992, the city had gotten above-average rainfall amounts for eight of the previous 13 years.

The exact rainfall totals for 2002 were not available for Balmorhea, but mushrooms are growing wild and frogs are croaking at the Balmorhea State Park thanks to the abundance of rainfall that has hit the area.

"We're just excited about all the rainfall we've been getting," said Balmorhea State Park employee Tom Johnson.

Johnson said that mushrooms that they have never seen before have been sprouting up all over the park and frogs can be heard croaking.

"I have the total of rainfall for each week and we've seen more rain this year than in the past 11 years," he said.

The latest line of showers moved off to the east Monday night, but rains are still falling in parts of East and Central Texas, and flood warnings are out today for coastal sections of the state.

Twenty-four rainfall totals through 6 p.m. Monday included 3.09 inches in Austin, 3.29 in College Station, 3.85 at Huntsville and 3.78 at Rockport.

Brownsville recorded 1.20 inches. Through the first four days of November, Brownsville had recorded 4.09 inches, more than twice the normal rainfall of 1.51 inches for the entire month. The city has recorded 8.61 inches in the past 17 days.

Although rainfall levels recently have been above normal, drought conditions persist in the region.

"We've been running deficits for nearly three years," meteorologist Jeff Philo said in a story in Tuesday's editions of The Brownsville Herald. "It helps turn the corner to bring us back to normal, but one rain event doesn't make up for three years of drought. We would need a surplus of seven to nine inches for the next three years to get back to normal."

Harris headed back to Pecos after evaluations,

but trials may end up in El Paso federal court

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Nov. 05, 2002 -- After spending several months under psychiatric evaluations, the  man accused of firebombing the Monahans Police Station in June and the  carjacking of a Midland man in May of this year  is expected to be back in Pecos by Wednesday. But his  court-appointed attorney is hoping any future trial  is held outside of the Permian Basin.

Travis James Harris had been in custody of officials at a Fort Worth facility for psychiatric evaluation since late July.

"He was released October 31," Harris' court appointed attorney of Pecos, Scott Johnson said.

According to Johnson it takes ten days to transfer Harris back to Pecos.

Though Johnson has not yet received the results of the evaluation, he said that he hopes to have them any day now.

Johnson said that U.S. District Court Judge Royal Furgeson would be back in Pecos on November 12 and at that time he would then determine any pretrial matters in the Harris case.

Harris trial for the June 3 firebombing of the Monahans Police Department is scheduled to be held in Pecos, while his trial for May carjacking Paul John Ceniceros, 30, whose body was found in a field near Odessa, is scheduled to be heard before Furgeson in U.S. District Court in Midland. But one of the pretrial matters to be determined in the case would be the change of venue for both the firebombing and the carjacking cases.

Johnson said that he has filed a change of venue to move both cases to El Paso. Harris was first scheduled to appear before the Pecos Federal Court on September 9. However, because he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation for the bombing of the police station in Monahans, the trial was then rescheduled for September 30 and later pushed back to November.

Harris is accused of breaking a window at the Monahans Police Department building at Second and Alice streets and throwing a `Molotov cocktail' inside around 3:30 a.m. on June 3. The ensuing fire gutted two rooms inside the police department, although firemen were able to contain the blaze before it affected any other offices in the building, which also houses several other Monahans city departments.

Federal, state and area law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation including the Pecos Police Department, the State Fire Marshal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Texas Rangers.

Harris could face up to 20 years for the firebombing, Johnson said back in September. An additional charge of Carjacking Resulting in Death and the Use of a Firearm during a Crime of Violence has been added.

Election Day vote in county starting slowly

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Nov. 05, 2002 -- Election Day voting in Reeves County began at a slow pace  this morning, but officials are hoping that voting picks up before the polls  close this evening.

Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez said that voting was going slow this morning. "We expect a lot more voters this afternoon, especially now that the sun has come out," she said.

Florez said that they expected at least a couple of voters to come in from Orla to vote at their new polling place, at the Lamar AEP campus, located at Oak and `F' streets on the north side of Pecos.

Florez said that Orla voters who in the past cast their ballots in Box 9 at Red Bluff Lake would now be voting at Box 8, at Lamar Elementary in Pecos. The change was made prior to March's primary elections and leaves Orla and Red Bluff Lake area residents with the longest drive to the polls of anyone in Reeves County _ a 40 mile trip down to Pecos to cast ballots in today's general election.

"We did this in the primary and had a couple of voters come in from Orla, so we expect them to come in again," Florez said.

Lamar is one of 11 polling sites Reeves County voters will be casting votes at today. Eight of the sites are in Pecos, while the other three locations are in Balmorhea, Toyah and Saragosa.

Locally, there are no contested races on today's election ballot, but an unopposed local candidate was inadvertently left out of the sample ballot printed in Monday's Enterprise. The sample ballot given to the paper did not include Norman Hill's name under Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 2. Hill won the Democratic primary for the Precinct 2 post and like all other local candidates, has no Republican or other party opposition today.

The lack of any local contested races has cut turnout from March's elections, though clear skies today may help bring out some additional voters.

Florez said that during early voting they had 1,013 voters to cast their ballots by personal appearance and 272 who mailed in their ballots. "We sent out 332 ballots by mail," said Florez.

The combined 1,285 total is 880 fewer than in March, when 2,165 people voted early or by mail in Reeves County.

Florez said that voters who have questions or don't know exactly where they should cast their ballots can contact her office at 445-5467 or they can call the Secretary of State's office, at 1-800-252-8683.

The main races on today's ballot are for regional and statewide positions. They include the 23rd Congressional District, where Democrat Henry Cuellar is challenging five-term incumbent Republican Congressman Henry Bonilla, and the 74th Legislative District, where Democrat Pete Gallego of Alpine is seeking a seventh term and is being challenged by former representative Pete Nieto, a Uvalde Republican.

The majority of votes in the 74th District are in the eastern areas of Uvalde and Del Rio, which is where Gallego and Nieto spent the final days of the campaign. In the congressional race, the key voting areas are around San Antonio and Laredo, where Cuellar was campaigning over the weekend, while Bonilla took a break from his campaign on Monday to introduce President Bush to a crowd at a Repbublican rally in Dallas.

The two closest statewide races are expected to be for the open U.S., Senate seat, where Republican John Cornyn and Democrat Ron Kirk are seeking to replace retiring Sen. Phil Gramm, and for Lt. Gov. where Democrat John Sharp is facing Republican David Dewhurst.

Other races county voters will help decide include the governor's race, where Rick Perry is seeking a full four-year term after being appointed to the office in 2000, and other downballot races, including for Attorney General, Land Commissioner, Comptroller, the Texas Railroad Commission and the State Supreme Court.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. today. County voting sites are: Box 1, Pecos Community Center; Box 2, Odessa College; Box 3, Pecos High School new gym; Box 4, Toyah Community Center; Box 5, Balmorhea Fire Hall; Box 6, Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center; Box 7, Reeves County Library; Box 8, Lamar AEP campus; Box 10; Reeves County Annex; Box 11, Sidney Sadler Community Center; and Box 12, Texas New Mexico Power Co., Reddy Room.

Barstow voters also are casting ballots today, in the state and Ward County elections. Polls are open until 7 p.m. at the Barstow Community Center.

Final GED sign-up set for Wednesday at Lamar

PECOS, Tues., Nov. 05, 2002 -- Make-up registration for GED classes will be held Wednesday evening at the Lamar AEP Campus Cafeteria, at Oak and `F' streets in Pecos.

Registration will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. 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, Tues., Nov. 05, 2002 -- High Monday 48, low this morning 40. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 35 to 40. Light northeast winds.  Wednesday: Sunny. Highs 65 to 70. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday  night: Clear. Lows 35 to 40. Thursday: Sunny. Highs near 70. Friday:  Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Highs near 70.


Mary Lou Richards

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise