Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, January 6, 2003
RCH welcomes first 2003 baby over weekend
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 6, 2002 -- It took a couple of days to finally arrive,
but Pecos' 2003 New Year's Baby made its appearance over the weekend
at Reeves County Hospital.
Adriana Vasquez gave birth to an eight pound, 1.8 ounces baby boy at 7:46
p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4, at the hospital.
"I didn't expect him so soon and I certainly didn't think he was going
to be the New Year's baby," said Vasquez.
Ethan Michael Vasquez was 21 ½ inches long at birth and wasn't
due to arrive until Jan. 10.
Vasquez received a basket full of "goodies" from the Reeves County Hospital
Auxiliary women, who were on hand this morning to make the presentation.
Dr. Joseph Darpolor of Pecos helped welcome the new bundle into the world.
"I'm just glad he's here and that he's fine," said Vasquez.
Year in Review -- May 2002
Task force death, Anchor closing occurred in May
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of a series of stories on the major
events that occurred in the Pecos area during 2002. Today's story covers
events in the month of May.
PECOS, Wed., May 01, 2002 — Early voting went well for the city,
hospital and school board elections, but not as well as it did two years
At the end of early voting, which concluded Tuesday evening, there had
been 1,295 individuals who voted early by personal appearance. There were
368 ballots mailed out and 279 that have come back to the elections clerks,
according to Thomas.
PECOS, Thurs., May 02, 2002 — The Pecos Police Department had the
most referrals of cases to the 143rd District Attorney's
office last year, while the Reeves County Sheriff's Department had
among the lowest number of referrals, according to figures released
by District Attorney Randy Reynolds.
For 2001, Reynolds' report showed 440 cases were referred to 143rd
Judicial Attorney and staff in 2001, 285 were new cases and 155 were probation
cases. Of that number, the most cases sent to the DA's office from any law
enforcement agency within the district was 66, from the Pecos Police Department,
which translates into 5½ referrals per month .
PECOS, Friday, May 3, 2002 — An estimated $15,000 in heroin was
seized Thursday and a Presidio man was arrested and taken to Reeves
County Jail following an afternoon arrest in Pecos.
The three-month investigation was concluded Thursday at 1:30 p.m., an
investigation that included the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety officers.
Arrested in the incident was Luis Rios Hernandez, 58, of Presidio, who
was charged with delivery of a controlled substance.
PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 — The Town of Pecos City will have a
new, but `veteran' mayor in office later this week after former mayor
Dot Stafford won the mayoral election by 255 votes over current mayor
Ray Ortega in Saturday's local election.
Voters also opted to elect two new candidates to the city council seats
up for election, favoring challengers Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides
over incumbents Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera.
Meanwhile, the closest race of the day was for the one contested seat
on the Reeves County Hospital board, where Saturday's vote totals gave Bill
Wendt a narrow victory over Jim Breese in a three-way race.
Billie Sadler was the overall winner in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board
elections, with 1,042 votes. Sadler won re-election to one of the two three-year
terms up for grabs on the board, and will be joined by Paul Deishler, who
picked up 982 votes to place second out of four candidates in Saturday's
Balmorhea voters stayed with their incumbent politicians in their local
elections. In the city races, Mayor Ruben Fuentez gathered 128 votes to beat
challenger Elizabeth Saenz who claimed 59 votes, while incumbents Rosendo
Galindo and Eddie Roman hung on to their council seats. Galindo got the most
votes in the open election with 110 while Roman received 95 to earn new two-year
PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 — The Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire
is investigating the cause of a fire early Sunday morning that destroyed
a vacant house on South Plum Street.
All fire units were called out to the fire just after 4 a.m., on Sunday
at 105 S. Plum St. Upon arrival the firefighters found the rear section of
the home, belonging to Rev. James Henderson, was already engulfed in flames.
PECOS, Monday, May 6, 2002 — A trucker was found dead Saturday inside
his vehicle that may have been parked for as many as three days at
a rest stop in Jeff Davis County and inquest is continuing.
Larry Gay, 57, of Cottondale, Fla., was reportedly found inside his vehicle
shortly after12:30 p.m., Saturday, at a rest stop on mile marker 186, just
west of the Interstate 10-Interstate 20 junction.
PECOS, Wed., May 8, 2002 — A Pecos family was left homeless Tuesday
after a fire destroyed the inside of their house in the 200 block of
All seven units for the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department plus Pecos Emergency
Medical Service personnel responded to the fire call at approximately 7:40
p.m., last night, and arrived to find that the fire had spread throughout
the home, with flames shooting out onto the front porch.
Pecos Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire said that the fire seemed to have
been started by a cigarette that had fallen onto a bed in one of the bedrooms.
"It started in the east back bedroom," he said. "The entire structure
on the inside was pretty much gutted."
PECOS, Thurs., May 9, 2002 — The Town of Pecos City officially has
a new mayor and two new Council members after the three winners in last Saturday's
election were sworn into office this morning during the regular Council meeting
at City Hall.
Notary Lisa Reynolds swore newly elected Mayor Dot Stafford into her newest
term at office during the meeting. Once officially taking office, Stafford
got down to the business of swearing in the two new Council members, Michael
Benavides and Angelica Valenzuela.
PECOS, Friday, May 10, 2002 — Teachers of the Year for each of the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD's campuses were recognized during Thursday's
monthly school board meeting, and the elementary and secondary teacher
chosen as Teacher of the Year were also announced to the board.
The Elementary Level Teacher of the Year for the District is Anabel Chavez
and the Secondary Level Teacher of the Year for the District is Olivia Herrera,
who were two of six teachers selected from the P-B-T campuses.
PECOS, Monday, May 13, 2002 — Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force officers
seized $77,000 in drugs over the past week, arresting two people during
the second of the two drug seizures, which occurred on Friday west
The incident occurred at 10:15 a.m., Friday, May 10, in the eastbound
lanes of I-20 at mile marker 34, five miles west of Pecos. Arrested in the
incident were two individuals from El Paso, Stanley Drennon, 29 and Jose
Luis Mora, 21, for possession with intent to distribute.
PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 — A resolution for authorizing a grant
application of over $300,000 for sewage system improvements to rural
homes in Reeves County was approved Monday by Reeves County Commissioners.
The commissioners approved the submission of a Texas Community Development
Program Colonia Construction Fund Application to the Office of Rural Community
Affairs at their regular meeting, Monday morning in the third floor courtroom
at Reeves County Courthouse.
PECOS, Wednesday, May 15, 2002 — Anchor West employees who were
laid off during the first week of May gathered for one last photograph and
bid a tearful farewell to the plant that they have called "home" for as long
as a dozen years.
Anchor Foods opened the plant with about 200 employees and expanded the
facility to 700 workers by the time the company agreed to be bought out by
Canadian-based McCain Foods in August of 2001. Three months later, McCain
announced it would close its Pecos facility and invest $10 million toward
expanding an onion processing plant the company already owned in Grand Island,
PECOS, Wednesday, May 15, 2002 — A first grade student at Austin
Elementary School is being given credit for saving the lives of her grandparents
after the home she shared with them caught on fire last week.
Eight-year-old Abigail Orosco, a first grade student at Austin Elementary,
was the first to notice that their home was on fire. The blaze broke out
in the bedroom of the home about 7:40 p.m. and all seven units for the Pecos
Volunteer Fire Department plus Pecos Emergency Medical Service personnel
responded to the fire.
PECOS, Thursday, May 16, 2002 — A man and woman wanted for two killings
in Georgia were arrested this morning following a 90-minute standoff
at a motel on the south side of Pecos. One of the murders took place
on Mother's Day. No information was available regarding the second
murder the two are suspected of.
James Robert Moody II, 23, and Tabitha Hope Colson, 23, were taken into
custody about 8:15 a.m. following the standoff, which took place in a room
at Motel 6, on the northeast side of the building. Guests from adjacent rooms
were evacuated over a three-hour period, after Pecos Police Sgt. Ismael Gamboa
discovered the pickup the couple was driving, and which reportedly belonged
to one of the murder victims.
PECOS, Thursday, May 16, 2002 — A Trans Pecos Drug Task Force officer
and a bus passenger were killed and a woman passenger was wounded,
following a gun battle on board a Greyhound bus in Pecos.
The Los Angeles-bound bus was stopped at the Greyhound station at Third
and Cypress streets in Pecos, which is located next to the Trans-Pecos Drug
Task Force's office on South Cypress Street. Task Force Officer, Jaime Rodriguez
was on the bus with a second officer, Mike Henderson, when the shooting occurred
about 9:35 a.m.
Rodriguez was pronounced dead at about 4 p.m., Thursday, at Covenant
Medical Hospital in Lubbock. Rodriguez had been airlifted to Lubbock from
Pecos and was undergoing surgery on two gunshot wounds to the abdomen. He
was shot by a passenger he was interviewing at the back of the Greyhound
bus, which was headed for Los Angeles.
PECOS, Friday, May 17, 2002 — Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Officer
Jaime Rodriguez had one last chance to talk to his family after being shot
by a passenger on a Greyhound bus Thursday morning.
"He had a chance to talk to his children and tell them how much he loves
them," said Elodia Hartnett, Rodriguez' mother-in-law.
Hartnett's daughter, Diana Rodriguez a first grade teacher at Austin Elementary
School and his two children, Jessica, 17, a senior at Pecos High School and
Jayme Lee Rodriguez a first grade student at Austin Elementary School, were
able to visit with Rodriguez at Reeves County Hospital before he was flown
to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock where he died while undergoing surgery
for gunshot wounds to the abdomen.
Rodriguez said that he then gave his daughter, Jessica his badge and gave
his son, Jayme his watch.
PECOS, Monday, May 20, 2002 — Hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers
attended the funeral for fallen officer Jaime Rodriguez today at Santa
Rosa Catholic Church.
Rodriguez died in Lubbock about 6½ hours after being shot twice
in the abdomen while performing a routine drug check on a Greyhound bus on
Thursday morning in Pecos.
Along with numerous family and friends approximately 20 different law
enforcement agencies from Texas and New Mexico paid their respects at the
Authorities on Friday identified a 19-year-old Austin resident as the
man who fatally shot Rodriguez, a Trans Pecos Task Force officer, and wounded
a passenger after Rodriguez asked the man for identification The man, Richard
Colunga II, was killed when officers returned fire, according to the Department
of Public Safety.
PECOS, Monday, May 20, 2002 — Grand Marshals for the Annual West
of the Pecos Rodeo Parade were chosen and committee members are working
on other plans to make this year's event a success, one of the organizers
of the event told Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors
during their lunchtime meeting last Tuesday.
The Marcos Martinez family and the West of the Pecos Cattlewomen will
lead the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo. "We're also working on other things
such as bringing in a helicopter or something like that," said Kathy Hurley,
one of the organizers of the event.
PECOS, Tuesday, May 21, 2002 — Despite cool, windy conditions, hundreds
of people participated in this year's Relay for Life and raised more
money than ever before Friday night and Saturday morning at Eagle Stadium.
Relay for Life Chairwoman Terri Spence said the walk was great and with
the help of the 11 teams participating they were able to break their goal
Spence said that not all the money has come in yet therefore the Relay
committee does not have a final total.
She said the total, as of the closing ceremony on Saturday, is $20,500,
most of which the teams raised themselves.
Awards were handed out to those who raised the most money during the closing
Security State Bank won the most money raised by a team award while Olga
Mendoza and Dena Dutchover won the most money raised by an adult and a youth
PECOS, Wed., May 22, 2002 — One of two bullets that hit a Trans
Pecos Task Force Officer came from the gun of one of his colleagues, but
a Greyhound bus passenger who opened fire on the officer during a routine
check while the bus was stopped in Pecos fired the shot that killed Trans
Pecos Task Force Officer Jaime Rodriguez, according to a report released
Rodriguez was fatally wounded last Thursday, during a routine bus interdiction
at the Pecos bus station. On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety
released preliminary reports both on the shots that struck Rodriguez on the
bus, and on the autopsy done following his death in Lubbock about 6½
hours after the shootout.
"We won't have the ballistics report until another six months, but it
could take up to a year," said Lt. Judy Altom with the Department of Public
Safety's office in Midland.
PECOS, Wed., May 22, 2002 — U.S. Senate candidate John Cornyn made
a brief stop in Pecos yesterday to speak with community members and officials
at the Reeves County Courthouse about his plans for the future if elected
as Senator .
Cornyn pulled up to the courthouse in his "Spirit of Texas" tour bus with
a John Philip Sousa march playing over the loudspeaker in the style reminiscent
of political campaigns portrayed in old movies.
PECOS, Thursday, May 23, 2002 — A U.S. District Court jury in Pecos
has convicted a 75-year-old Alpine man on three counts of importation
of aliens for immoral purposes.
Jack Wayne Whisenhunt, AKA "El Maestro," faces a maximum sentence of 10
years in prison per count, following his conviction on May 16, in Pecos.
Whisenhunt is an Alpine resident who was arrested on July 18, 2001, in
Fort Hancock. At the time of his arrest he was on probation for indecent
exposure in Hudspeth County _ a violation involving children. As part of
his probated sentence, the court ordered that Whisenhunt not leave Brewster
County without permission, and refrain from having
PECOS, Friday, May 24, 2002 — The Town of Pecos City Council made
cleaning up the city their first priority during the regular meeting
last night at City Hall.
During a very vocal public comments portion of the meeting the council
discussed plans to beautify Pecos, which included a new recycling glass program
and landscaping project.
However, after some discussion the council agreed that cleaning up alleyways
and other areas around town should be their first priority.
That decision came after some debate on whether or not to push forward
with a plan to "zero-scape" City Hall before cleaning up all areas of the
PECOS, Tues., May 28, 2002 — The second annual Memorial Day Shrimp
Cook-off and Festival drew many people from the Permian Basin and Davis
Mountains area to the tiny town of Balmorhea this Saturday for the
all day festival.
Shaina Enmon, of Toyah, took home the first place trophy, $50 and 10 pounds
of shrimp after winning the competition with her shrimp kabobs.
PECOS, Wed., May 29, 2002 — Pecos Police are investigating an incident
that sent a local teen to the hospital with stab wounds early
Fabian Orona, 17, of Pecos, was treated for "several stab wounds" at Reeves
County Hospital, according to Police Investigator Kelly Davis.
Davis said police believe Orona received the wounds after being involved
in a gang-related incident.
PECOS, Wed., May 29, 2002 — Preliminary work is scheduled to begin
in early June on the new Balmorhea ISD gymnasium and agriculture facilities,
Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz said Saturday.
In addition to the gym and agriculture buildings, Saenz said the district
also plans to do some repairs and renovations to existing facilities in the
main building in the upcoming months, though the final cost of the project
is still to be decided.
PECOS, Thurs., May 30, 2002 — Harvest has already begun on onions
in the Pecos area and things are looking really good, according to
Taylor said that the company would start running some through the Pecos
processing facility next week. "We've already begun the harvest on the fields
and will start running some here at the facility on Monday," said Taylor.
Friday, May 31, 2002 — One lucky ticket buyer in Pecos is helping
the Texas Lottery celebrate its 10th anniversary this week
by taking home a one-third share of Thursday's $54,800 Cash 5 drawing.
Wednesday was the 10th anniversary of the first Texas Lottery
game, and the winner of the so-far unclaimed Cash 5 ticket from Thursday
will get $18,269, according to figures released today by the Texas Lottery
Commission. Kristina Tirloni, press spokesperson for the TLC, said the winning
ticket was sold at the Kwik Stop at Third and Eddy Streets, while two other
tickets that matched Thursday's Cash 5 drawing were sold in Beaumont.
PECOS, Friday, May 31, 2002 — McCain Foods is shutting down production
today at its Anchor Foods onion processing facility in Pecos, and a
luncheon is scheduled for Saturday in honor of all Anchor employees
who decided to stay after McCain announced in November it was closing
Plant Manager Bruce Salcido said that today is the last day of production
for the workers at the plant and over 300 of the remaining employees would
be laid off on Monday.
Alzheimer's group to hold first meeting of the year
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 6, 2002 -- The Alzheimer's Association STAR Chapter
will be sponsoring the Pecos Support Group first meeting of 2003, scheduled
for 4 p.m., Thursday at the Pecos Senior Citizen's Center, 119 S. Cedar St.
Topic will be "Combativeness" and everyone is invited to attend.
PECOS, Mon., Jan. 6, 2002 -- High Sunday 74. Low this morning 38. Forecast
for tonight: Cloudy in the evening then clearing. Lows in the lower
30s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs in
the mid 50s. Light and variable winds. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy.
Lows in the mid 30s. Wednesday: Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs in
the upper 60s. Thursday: Increasing cloudiness. Lows in the lower 30s.
Highs in the mid 60s.
Harold Gustafson and J. Trevor McNutt
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise