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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, March 21, 2003

Odessans see OC as part of school trip to Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 -- Odessa students were at Odessa College this morning - which sounds normal, except that these were junior high students from Odessa who were in Pecos, touring Odessa College's Pecos Technical Training Center and several other sites around town.

"They had called me and told me they were coming to Pecos and wanted to see our college," said Pecos-OC director Michelle Workman, of the teachers and students from Hood Junior High in Odessa. They also planned to visit the Maxey Park Zoo and the West of the Pecos Museum during the day.

"We received a grant from the education foundation," said Hood Junior High teacher Jan Waters. "We're doing a school newspaper with the history of West Texas and are visiting several places in West Texas."

The students visit several "spots" in West Texas and are then asked to write a report.

The 92 children are special education students at the junior high, which houses 7th through ninth graders.

"We've gone to the rodeo in Odessa and the stock show and then we did a report," said student Todd Chase. "We also visited the Confederate Air Force and did some reports on World War II," he said.

Chase said he is enjoying visiting the different locations and is learning quite a bit about the history of West Texas. "It's really very interesting and I'm sure we'll learn a lot about the college today," said Chase. "I'm also looking forward to the visit to the zoo, I hope to see a lot of animals."

Student David Duncan said that he too is looking forward to the zoo. "I didn't know we were going to the museum also, but now I'm really looking forward to that," said Duncan. "I'm really enjoying myself, but I hate the bus ride."

The students were enthusiastic and asked many questions during their tour of the local college.

Chamber of Commerce President Al Gomez was on hand, along with Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford. "There are several things I want to ask her, like is it hard to run a city like Pecos," said Chase.

Meeting different people was also one of the many things the students were enjoying. "We get to meet more people, and hope to meet more during our visits," said Chase.

Murder charge filed on Mills in Leigh death

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 -- A man who Pecos Police initially said had fired at a suspected house burglar early Tuesday morning, killing the 21-year-old man, has now been charged with the man's murder, following an investigation of the incident.

Reuben Mills, 22, was arrested by police Thursday afternoon and charged in the shooting death of 21-year old Keith Leigh, who was found dead by officers in an alleyway two blocks south of Mills' house with a gunshot wound to the back early Tuesday morning.

Mills, 21, of 325 N. Pecan St., was charged with murder by police, who were originally called to the home at 2:14 a.m. on Tuesday on a report of a house burglary.

"Based on the investigation it showed that the shooter and the victim knew each other and because of other facts we do not believe the incident was a burglary," said Pecos Police Lt. Kelly Davis.

Though Mills called it in as a burglary, Davis said that he believed Leigh was running way from a confrontation when he was shot.

"The victim was in the process of running away from a confrontation when he was shot in the back," Davis said.

Police Sgt. Armando Garcia and Officer Ricky Martinez were first dispatched to 325 N. Pecan in reference to a burglary of the residence. When they arrived, Mills told them that he had been awakened by two individuals who had tried to gain entry.

He also said that he had gotten a rifle from inside his own home and shot in the direction of the two subjects.

After talking to Mills, Garcia and Martinez began to search the area for anyone who might have been hit by the gunfire.

As the officers searched the area, they found Leigh's body in the alleyway of the 200 block of North Pecan with a gunshot wound to the upper back.

Leigh was officially pronounced dead by the Justice of the Peace on call and an autopsy was ordered.

The results, which came in Wednesday afternoon, stated that Leigh's cause of death was due to internal bleeding after an artery in the lung had been hit.

Davis identified the second person involved in the incident as Chris Hodges, 20, of 711 North Faye in Barstow. No charges have been filed against Hodges in the case, he added.

City certifies final candidate as eligible for council ballot

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 -- Town of Pecos City officials have released the name of a fourth candidate who filed at the last minute to run in the May 3 Town of Pecos City elections, after determining he is eligible to run for office.

Mark Bragg filed on Wednesday, the last day to enter the city council race, but city officials did not release his name until he had been cleared and certified as eligible to run. Under law, the city secretary has five days to release the name of a possible candidate until everything has been checked out.

Bragg joins two incumbents and a former councilman in the race for the three available seats on the council in the May election. Mayor Pro-tem Gerald Tellez and councilman Frank Sanchez are seeking to retain their seats, while Danny Rodriguez filed to return to the council after being defeated for re-election a year ago.

The other council member whose term is up in May is Johnny Terrazas, who did not file for a new two-year term.

Along with the city council election, the only other contested races on May 3 will be for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and the Balmorhea school boards.

Four candidates will be seeking the two three-year terms up for election in the P-B-T ISD race. Incumbents David Flores and Steve Valenzuela are challenged by Randy Baeza and Amy Montgomery Miller.

In the Balmorhea ISD race, incumbents Tommy Rey Dominguez and Paul Matta have three challengers in their bids for re-election, in Sharon Oates, Abel Baeza and Courtney Ballard.

Uncontested races include those for the Precinct 2 and Precinct 4 seats for the Reeves County Hospital District board. Pablo T. Carrasco filed to run for the Precinct 4 seat on Monday, and will replace Hugh Box, whose home in no longer within the Precinct 4 boundaries. In Precinct 2, incumbent Linda Gholson is unopposed for that seat.

In Barstow, incumbents Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Ted Porras have filed for new two-year terms on the city council and Angel Abila has filed for the one-year unexpired term.

Ike Ward filed to retain his seat on the Balmorhea City Council, one of three seats up for election this year. Sammy Baeza currently holds the other seat and there is one other seat vacant. Balmorhea officials did not report any new filings prior to the deadline.

Under state law, elections that are uncontested can be canceled by the elected officials in order to save money.

Seventh person arrested in credit card abuse case

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 --  A seventh person involved with the abuse of a credit card belonging to Rio Pecos Sales - Budweiser was arrested in Odessa Wednesday afternoon and has since posted bond.

According to Gang Officer/Criminal Investigator Armando Granado, Chase Sanders, 19, was arrested in Odessa in connection with the incident, in which over $5,000 allegedly was charged illegally over a 10-month period of 2002 and early this year.

Sanders is one of seven people charged with their involvement in using the card, belong to Budweiser, to fuel up their vehicles at Desert Distributors. Police said they still have one warrant out for the arrest of another individual, and could eventually charge up to 20 more people in connection with the case.

"The card was stolen back in May 2002," Granado said Tuesday. "They even had the pin number of the credit card."

The card was given to Martha Leonard Rubio, 35, by a male subject who had originally stolen it, at which point different people began to use it, Granado said.

He added that the card was used on a regular basis and a total of $5,450 in fuel was reported as being charged on it.

"The card was being used from the time it was stolen till the first week of March 2003," Granado said. "They would use it two to three times a day."

The others were arrested on March 14, and were identified by police are Rubio, Jack Benjamin Stickles, 17, Jason Rodriguez, 17, Justin Evans, 19, Jae Ewing, 19, and Jeffery Martinez, 22. There are also four juveniles, three male and one female, who have charges pending Granado said.

A statement by one of those arrested said that they would often pay to use the credit card, Granado said.

He added that the case remains under investigation and they are looking at 20 more people, Granado said.

Of the seven arrested Stickles and Rodriguez are current students at Pecos High School while Evans, Ewing, Sanders and Martinez are recent PHS students.

The seven individual have been charged with credit card abuse, which is considered a state jail felony.

U.S. ag producers asked to be aware of terrorism threat

PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 -- Ranchers and other livestock owners are being cautioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be on the alert for any unusual problems with their animals, after the department elevated the terrorism threat level to ORANGE this week, which indicates a high risk of attack to U.S. interests both domestically and overseas.

As a result of the increased security level, foreign animal disease (FAD) surveillance should be increased nationwide. Those involved with livestock production are urged to be particularly aware of any indication that could signal the occurrence of a highly contagious disease or any other unusual or unexplained adverse animal health event.

Those include sudden, unexplained death loss in the herd or flock, severe illness affecting a high percentage of the animals, blistering around an animal's mouth, nose, teats or hooves, unusual ticks or maggots, or staggering, falling or central nervous system disorders.

If you see something unusual, contact your local law enforcement authorities immediately and notify the Texas Animal Health Commission at1-800-550-8242.


PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 -- High Thurs. 67. Low this morning 41. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 40s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is 50 percent. Sat.: Partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the mid 60s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph: Becoming. SW in the afternoon. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Sat. night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 40s. Sun.: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s. Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. Highs near 80.


Ofelia Alba, Dora Fonville, Ronald Keith Leigh Jr., and Socorro Rodriguez

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