Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Army confirms Pecos grad among soldiers MIA
From Staff and Wire Reports
A Pecos High School graduate has formally been added to the names of those
missing in the war in Iraq.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, who is assigned
to the 507th Maintenance Company out of Fort Bliss in El Paso, was officially
added to the list of those missing by the U.S. Department of Defense in
its latest report, which was released early this afternoon. It was one of
five new names added to the list of those missing as part of a group of
soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company who were involved in a fight
with Iraqi troops last Sunday.
A spokesman at Fort Bliss said late Wednesday morning that the post wasn't
planning on providing any additional information.
The soldiers were ambushed near An Nasiriyah in central Iraq. The post
had confirmed only that about 10 members of the company were missing. Some
prisoners of war shown in an Iraqi television video identified themselves
as being from the 507th.
Iraqi television has shown four bodies it said were Americans from
Mata was not among those shown in the video, but reports of his disappearance
were first given to family members on Monday.
The other four names newly added to the list were Army Sgt. Donald Walters,
33, of Salem, Ore.; Army Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38, Cleveland; Army
Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18, El Paso, and Army Spc. James M. Kiehl, 22,
Des Moines, Iowa
Mata was a 1986 graduate of Pecos High School. His family was contacted
this afternoon by the Enterprise and did not want to make a formal statement.
However, they did say they have been contacted the government and all
they know at this time is that he is missing in action. They are concerned
and praying for all the troops out there and the families of those who have
someone serving, according to Javier Contreras, a family spokesman.
The list of names of personnel missing in action is being updated twice
a day by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Enterprise received the updated
version at 12:33 this afternoon by the Associated Press and the names included
the name of the Pecos native. Our sympathy goes out to the Mata family and
our prayers are with them at this time.
KWES Channel 9 was in town today, requesting an interview with the family
that was also denied.
Across the United States, families of other missing or captured soldiers
from Fort Bliss' 507th Maintenance Company awaited word on their loved ones.
The family of prisoner of war Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, tried to spend
a quiet day in their north El Paso home on Tuesday, waiting for information
from the International Red Cross on her condition.
"She has a lot of friends and of course they've been calling," said Erika
Johnson, the soldier's 26-year-old sister. She said Fort Bliss officials
had not spoken with the family since Sunday when they said her sister was
a prisoner of war.
"Nobody really expects this kind of news and especially because my dad
heard it on Telemundo (television)," Erika Johnson said from the family's
modest red-brick home on the farthest north edge of El Paso.
The soldiers besides Johnson shown on the video aired Sunday who are
in Iraqi custody are Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, of Mission, Texas; Spc. Joseph
Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.; Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, of Park City,
Kan.; and Sgt. James Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.
In Comfort, about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio, Randy and Janie
Kiehl have been huddled around the makeshift command center in their living
room since Sunday. Using two satellite televisions, telephones and the Internet,
the couple scour all sources for information about the fate of their only
child, Spc. James Kiehl, who's been listed as missing in action in Iraq.
James Kiehl, a 22-year-old computer repair technician with the 507th
Maintenance Company, is believed to have been with members of the company
when it was ambushed near An Nasiriyah.
Kiehl said he talks to his daughter-in-law Jill every two or three hours
during the day. Jill Kiehl is staying with her parents in Des Moines, Iowa,
as she expects her first child.
The boy is due the last week of April, and the family's already chosen
a name - Nathaniel Ethan.
"Right now, in my mind, he's just missing," Jill Kiehl said from her
parents' home on the south side of Des Moines. "That's what I've got to
keep remembering, that he's alive, and they're going to find him, and he's
going to come back home."
More than 300 friends, family members and residents of the rural West
Virginia town of Elizabeth began gathering 45 minutes early on Tuesday night
for a candlelight vigil for Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk
with the 507th who is also missing in action. Residents lit candles, sang
songs and prayed for Lynch and other troops.
"There is just something about a woman in this situation," said Adriene
Hopkins of Elizabeth. "She's got to be looked up to. This woman was there
to do it."
Besides Kiehl and Lynch, Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, of Tuba City, Ariz.
and Pvt. Brandon Sloan, 19, of Bedford Heights, Ohio, are also missing members
of the 507th, family members said. The names of other soldiers missing around
An Nasiriyah were not available.
Official list of U.S. soldiers in Iraq
reported missing, captured, killed
By The Associated Press
U.S. troops who have died, been held captive or reported missing, according
to the U.S. military or relatives. Not all names are available.
Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, Boise, Idaho, grenade attack
Marine Cpl. Evan James, 20, La Harpe, Ill., drowned in canal
Army Spc. Gregory P. Sanders, 19, Hobart, Ind., combat
Marine Sgt. Michael E. Bitz, 31, Ventura, Calif., combat
Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, 20, Cedar Key, Fla., combat
Marine Lance Cpl. David K. Fribley, 26, Fort Myers, Fla., combat
Marine Cpl. Jose A. Garibay, 21, Costa Mesa, Calif., combat
Marine Cpl. Jorge A. Gonzalez, 20, Los Angeles, combat
Marine Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Jordan, 42, Enfield, Conn., combat
Marine 2nd Lt. Frederick E. Pokorney Jr., 31, Tonopah, Nev., combat
Marine Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker, 21, San Diego, combat
Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Slocum, 22, Thornton, Colo., combat
Army Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert, 27, Easton, Pa., grenade attack
507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas:
Army Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, 22, Roswell, Ga.
Army Pfc. Howard Johnson II, 21, Mobile, Ala.
Army Reserve Spc. Brandon S. Tobler, 19, Portland, Ore., vehicle accident
Navy Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, La Mesa, Calif., helicopter collision
Marine Lance Cpl. Eric J. Orlowski, 26, Buffalo, N.Y., machine gun accident
Marine Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, Waterville, Maine, helicopter crash.
Marine Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, Bloomington, Ill., helicopter
Marine 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers, 30, Harrison County, Miss., combat
Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, Los Angeles, combat
Marine Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25, Houston, helicopter crash
Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, 29, Baltimore, helicopter
Date not given:
Marine Sgt. Nicolas M. Hodson, 22, Smithville, Mo., vehicle accident
Crew of Army Apache attack helicopter:
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, Lithia Springs,
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 David S. Williams, 30, Orlando, Fla.
507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas:
Army Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, Mission, Texas
Army Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, Alamogordo, N.M.
Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, Fort Bliss, Texas
Army Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, Park City, Kan.
Army Sgt. James Riley, 31, Pennsauken; N.J.
Marine Sgt. Brad Korthaus, 29, Davenport, Iowa, disappeared near canal
507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas:
Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, Palestine, W.Va.
Army Spc. James Kiehl, 22, Comfort, Texas
Army Pvt. Brandon Sloan, 19, Bedford Heights, Ohio
Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, Tuba City, Ariz.
Army Sgt. Donald Walters, 33, Salem, Ore.
Army Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38, Cleveland
Army Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18, El Paso, Texas
Army Spc. James M. Kiehl, 22, Des Moines, Iowa
Army Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, El Paso, Texas
Election cancellations likely in several races
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., March 26, 2003 -- Elections in Barstow, Toyah and the Reeves
County Hospital District, which are scheduled for May 3, may be cancelled
since there are no contested races in those election races.
In Toyah, there are three, two-year seats open and one unexpired term.
Incumbents Diana Tollett and Bart F. Sanchez, have opted to retain their
seats on the council, with Larry Claverie, joining them in his quest for
the third seat on the council.
Dolores B. Machuca signed up for the unexpired one-year term. Since all
are unopposed the city does not have to hold an election and this will save
In Barstow, there are four candidates for four available seats. 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
In the hospital district race, both the Precinct 2 and Precinct 4 seats
are uncontested. Pablo T. Carrasco filed to run for the Precinct 4 seat
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
City officials in Balmorhea only reported one candidate filing for the
three available seats in the May 3 election. Ike Ward filed to retain his
seat on the Balmorhea City Council. Sammy Baeza currently holds the other
seat and there is one other seat vacant.
Under state law, elections that are uncontested can be canceled by the
elected officials in order to save money.
Three elections in the are will be contested on May 3, for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
and Balmorhea school boards, and for the Town of Pecos City Council.
In the city elections, challengers Mark Bragg and Danny Rodriguez and
incumbents Gerald Tellez and Frank Sanchez are seeking the three two-year
terms up for election.
Town of Pecos City officials had a fourth candidate file at the last
minute to run in the May 3 Town of Pecos City elections, after determining
he is eligible to run for office. The other council member whose term is
up in May is Johnny Terrazas, who did not file for a new two-year term.
In the P-B-T ISD race, four candidates will be seeking the two three-year
terms up for election. 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.
Applications to vote by mail are currently being accepted in the area's
contested races. Early voting by personal appearance for Pecos voters will
be held at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St., from April 16-29,
while Balmorhea ISD voters can cast ballots early at the Balmorhea ISD officer
during that same period.
The last day a person may register to vote in the elections is next Friday,
April 3, and the last day to receive applications for early voting ballots
to be voted by mail is April 25.
Bessie Haynes science students claim fair prizes
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., March 26, 2003 -- Young, future scientists converged in Odessa
last weekend for the annual Permian Basin Science Fair and several Pecos
students had the opportunity to participate in the event.
Four Bessie Haynes Elementary School students fared well at the annual
event and brought home ribbons and a trophy.
This was the first time for all the Pecos students to attend the area
science fair. The students placed in the Bessie Haynes Science Fair, before
going on to compete in the area event.
Pedro Reyes, a fifth grade student at Bessie Haynes, brought home a trophy,
the NACE Top Project Trophy. His project was in the corrosion category and
was titled, "Rust Busters."
"I really enjoyed it and plan to work on another project next year," said
Reyes, the son of Freddy and Manuela Reyes.
"My advice to other students wanting to do a project, is to do plenty
of research first before they do the project," said Reyes. "My project was
a fun project and another student could probably do it."
Reyes said he recommended that students find a project that is right for
them before beginning anything.
Augustine Mendoza, "Gus," as his friends know him, brought home a second
place medal, for his project titled, "Bacteria," in the chemistry category.
He is the son of Albert and Annette Mendoza.
Michael Blanchard also brought home a second place medal for his project,
"Brain Food," in the Behavioral Category. Michael is the son of Isabel and
Both students said that this was their first time to attend the area science
"I had a lot of fun," said Blanchard. "When we had the science fair here
at the school I was really nervous, but in Odessa I wasn't nervous, because
I had already done it before and knew what it was like."
Blanchard's advice to younger students, "Don't do a show and tell project.
We saw those and they didn't work."
Mendoza said that students should do a lot of research on their project.
"I really enjoyed myself and I learned a lot," he said.
Jeremy Guerra, a fifth grade student and the son of Cynthia and Roy Guerra
placed third in the area science fair. "If they're going to do my project,
it's really complicated, it took me two weeks to do it," said Guerra.
Guerra said he had a slight problem with his project at the beginning,
which took him a week to figure out. "It was the type of rope I was using,"
The students all agreed that it was worth the hard work and something
they would recommend that younger students participate in.
District Clerks to hold meeting in Pecos Friday
PECOS, Wed., March 26, 2003 -- Reeves County District Clerk and the Reeves
County Clerk's offices will be hosting the Area 3 County and District Clerks
Association spring meeting this Friday.
The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Reeves County
Both the district clerk and the county clerk's offices will be closed
on Friday, due to the area meeting.
Both offices will re-open at their regular times on Monday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report
is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.The serving
of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations,
animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and
will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.
Esequiel Olgin Ornelas, 46, and Manuel Rivera, 51, were arrested at 4:01
p.m., on March 25, at the 1600 block of S. Eddy St. Ornelas was arrested
for controlled substance - heroin - 3rd degree felony. Rivera was arrested
on an Ector County warrant for theft by check.
Jesus Rodriguez was arrested at 10:45 p.m., on March 24, in the 1200
block of E. Fourth Street for public intoxication.
Francisco Coria, 21, was arrested at 8:34 a.m., on March 23, at the Criminal
Justice Center on a warrant for tampering with physical evidence.
Daniel Sotelo, 28, was arrested at 9:30 p.m., on March 22, in the 2100
block of Hackberry Street for assault - family violence act.
Rosa Miranda, 41, was arrested at 1:45 a.m., on March 23, in the 2900
block of Toliver Street on warrant - Capias Public Intoxication.
Albert Contreras Jr., 20, Alex Plasencia, 19, Jose Sauceda, 19 and Lee
Varela, 19 were arrested at 7:19 p.m., on March 22, at the corner of Yucca
and Eddy streets. Contreras, Sauceda and Varela were arrested for unlawfully
carrying a weapon - class A. Plasencia was arrested for unlawfully carrying
a weapon - class A and on a Reeves County Sheriff's Office warrant for open
Yvette Williams, 27, was arrested at 2:35 a.m., on March 22, at the Criminal
Justice Center on an Eastland County warrant for bail - secured bond.
Elojio Rubio, 43, was arrested at 10:24 a.m., on March 20, in the 400
block of North Cypress Street for criminal trespassing - class A.
Rojelio Pando, 31, was arrested at 1:12 p.m., on March 20, at the 100
block of North Alamo Street for assault - family violence act - class A.
Fred Lara, 46, was arrested at 3:12 p.m., on March 20, at the Allsup's,
708 S. Cedar St., for criminal trespassing.
Simon Jaquez, 36, was arrested at 4:57 p.m., on March 19, at the Criminal
Justice Center on a warrant - theft - class B.
Jose Luis Falcon, 22, was arrested at 4:19 p.m., on March 19, at Allsup's,
2232 S. Eddy St., on Capias Pro - Fine warrant for minor in possession.
Jeronimo Hinojos was arrested at 8:30 p.m., on March 18, at the Criminal
Justice Center on a warrant for no liability insurance.
Sam Edge, Jr., 34, was arrested at 9:55 p.m., on March 17, at the Flying
J Truck Stop, 100 E. Raul Florez Blvd., for public intoxication.
PECOS, Wed., March 26, 2003 -- High Tuesday 78. Low this morning 45. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 10 to
20 mph. Thursday: Windy. Partly cloudy. Highs in theupper 80s. Southwest
winds 20 to 30 mph. Thursday night: Windy. Partly cloudy. Lows near 40.
Friday: Partly cloudy and cooler. Highs near 60. Saturday: Partly cloudy.
Lows in the mid 30s. Highs in the mid 60s.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise