Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
Shaffer outlines plans for Women's Division
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- Pecos Chamber of Commerce members were introduced
to the new president of the Chamber's Women's Division, during their regular
monthly meeting at noon on Tuesday at the Pecos Senior Center.
Chamber President Al Gomez introduced Shirley Shaffer as the new Women's
Division President, as part of the board's regular items of business. It
came after board members heard from family and friends of Johnny V. Mata,
who was killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Shaffer was active in the Women's Division last year. "I served on the
social committee for the Golden Girls and I really liked it," she said.
Shaffer said that Michelle Workman would be president-elect. "Right now
we're getting ready for Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe, will participate
in Relay for Life and other events," said Shaffer.
Those events include the Pretty Baby Contest at the fall fair, Night in
Old Pecos, helping needy families in the community and Welcome Baskets for
newcomers to Pecos.
"Those baskets really help, because they have a lot of valuable information
that any new person to Pecos can use," she said, adding that if anybody
had anything to contribute to the baskets to contact Lila Cerna, another
women's club member.
"And to the Mata family that is here with us today, Johnny was a real
hero and we're very grateful to him," said Shaffer. "That keeps our freedom
and we'll never forget that and him."
Shaffer said that she came from a military family and knew the sacrifices
they have made. "We just want you all to know how very much we are thankful
to him and you and how much we appreciate him," she said.
In other business, executive director Linda Gholson told the group that
a district clerk's area meeting was held in Pecos recently and brought a
lot of people to town.
"The Reeves County Health Fair was also a big success," said Gholson.
"Those that had blood work done should be getting their results back this
Gholson said that there had been a KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) meeting
on April 1 and about 20 individuals attended to discuss things going on
Pecos and how to improve the city.
"I had also brought to you at the last meeting, West Texas Day in Austin,
but everybody felt it was short notice," said Gholson. "You asked me to
find out more information, because at the time I didn't have that much information,
well I called and nobody knew the answers either," she said.
Gholson said that she had finally gathered more information and that the
group could plan to participate in 2005, when the Legislature meets again
in Austin. "We can have 'blow into Austin' day when they meet again then,"
Fall Fair Committee members met last week and Barbara Creager will be
in charge of the event.
Economic Development Director Gari Ward spoke about the opening of the
new dairy at Flat Top Farm southeast of Pecos and the racetrack that he is
currently working on bringing to the community, which would be at the site
of the former Smither's Tire Testing Center
"We had a good turnout at the Flat Top Go Round Dairy, it's the kind of
dairy that welcomes everyone and you can see a carousel of 500 cows an hour,"
Plans for the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo set for July 2-5 are continuing,
according to Gholson. "They are also working the AJRA and this will be a
big opportunity to bring people into town," she said.
Family Health Day held at Maxey Park two weekends ago was a big success,
according to Lupe Davis, chamber of commerce office assistant.
The event was co-sponsored by the Pecos Downtown Lions and Rotary Clubs.
"Everyone had a good time, we had a lot of rides for the children and
events for the adults," she said. "We had plenty of participation."
The group made about $1,100, which will go towards the many projects
they sponsor throughout the year.
"We want to thank everyone that donated something or helped out in any
way," said Davis.
The 40th Anniversary celebration for the West of the Pecos Museum has
been changed from this coming Saturday to May 22. "It will be held from
11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and everybody is welcome to come to the museum
and enjoy lunch and spend some time there," said Gholson.
Gholson said that a light lunch would be served and individuals had the
opportunity to come to the museum anytime between those hours.
A reception for Rob Junell, the new U.S. District Judge for the Pecos
Division, is set for 6 p.m., Monday at the West of the Pecos Museum. "We
want to give him a big welcome," said Gholson. "Judge Ferguson won't be
able to be here, but we want to make a good impression on the new judge."
A Heritage Trail meeting was held in Iraan recently and several chamber
members had the opportunity to attend. "There are 22 counties on the Pecos
trail," said Gholson. "They say that the biggest industry in the U.S. right
now is tourism and this will be a great opportunity for Pecos to bring in
Council to discuss abatement for TransPecos Foods plant
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council will discuss
a tax abatement for TransPecos Foods and the duties of two city employees
when they hold their regular meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers.
While in open session the council members will discuss and consider tax
abatement to Trans Pecos Foods, which purchased the former Anchor Foods
plant last year and reopened the facility, after it had been shut down by
McCain Foods, putting 700 people out of work.
The council in the past had granted tax abatements to Anchor Foods, so
that they could expand their operations from about 200 workers in 1990 to
700 when McCain Foods bought them in September of 2001. TransPecos Foods
currently has about 160 workers employed at the plant.
Council members will go into executive session to discuss and consider
the duties of the Fire Chief Roy Pena and Municipal Judge Amonario Ramon,
while other actions in open session include a resolution for the Pecos Ambulance
Service to purchase an ambulance and the site for the skateboard park.
The council will also approve the minutes of the regular council meeting
for March 27, the accounts payable report and the juvenile monthly report
both for March 2003.
Police report heroin found, two jailed in east side bust
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- Two persons were arrested last Friday after
a narcotics search warrant was executed at an east side home and officers
found illegal drugs.
On Friday, April 4, the Pecos Police Department executed a narcotics
search warrant at 413 S. Mulberry St.
"Once the SWAT team had secured the residence, officers proceeded to
search and located a substance believed to be heroin inside the house,"
said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.
He said that the officers had also located other drug paraphernalia commonly
used in the packaging and injecting of the controlled substance, heroin.
Officers completed their search of the premises and arrested Don Wesley
Barton, 49, for possession of a controlled substance (heroin). Ana Luisa
Barreno, 43, was arrested for the offense of possession of a dangerous drug.
Both were transported to the Criminal Justice Center.
Chamber hears from family, friends of slain soldier
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- Family and friends of Johnny V. Mata, who was
killed while serving with the 507th Maintenance Company in the war in Iraq,
were special guests of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, during
its monthly board of directors meeting at the Pecos Senior Citizen's Center.
Mata's cousin Sam Contreras and Pecos High School baseball coach Elias
Payan, a classmate of Mata's, spoke to the group about Mata, who was one
of nine U.S. Army soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company confirmed
dead after their unit was ambushed by Iraqi troops on March 23.
"We noticed that other cities are showing support for their loved ones
who have died during this war and we wanted to do the same," said Contreras,
who along with Payan asked chamber members to please attend the meeting
held last evening at the Pecos Community Center, to think of ways to honor
one of their own.
"This won't be just for Johnny, but for all servicemen and women who
are currently serving overseas," said Contreras, who added that he had already
spoken to several organizations.
"We wanted to plan this before Johnny's body is returned to Pecos," said
Contreras. "We have planned this meeting and would like the community's
Payan said that if you didn't know Johnny it was a big loss, because he
was a wonderful individual.
"He was kind, giving, caring, loyal, hardworking, honest, I could go
on and on about him," said Payan. "He was a great friend and I feel very
honored to have known him and have been his friend."
Payan grew up with Mata and his family. "I'm grateful that I was considered
one of the family as well, it was a blessing to know Johnny and have had
him in my life," he said.
He said that Pecos had lost one of it's own and that the family and community
were heartbroken. "That's why we want to do something, because he died for
all of us," said Payan.
"Let's all get together and show America that Pecos is proud of them,"
Chamber president Al Gomez said that he was proud of the fallen soldier.
"He is definitely our hero," said Gomez. "On behalf of the chamber I want
the family to know that we will do anything that we can and that we're very
proud of him."
Memorial events for Mata planned Thursday, Friday
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- Pecos residents and members of community organizations
gathered at the Community Center Tuesday evening to discuss a way to honor
a Pecos native killed in the war in Iraq, along with honoring the area's
other service men and women fighting in Persian Gulf conflict.
Johnny V. Mata, 35, a U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer assigned to the
507th Maintenance Company out of Fort Bliss in El Paso, was one of nine
soldiers from the company who were killed as the result of a firefight with
Iraqi forces on March 23. Mata was reported missing in action for 10 days,
before the Department of Defence confirmed his death to family members last
During the meeting Sam Contreras, a cousin of Mata, asked that the streets
of Pecos be decorated with ribbon and poster that show the town's support,
and said that Mata's body would be returned home for burial later this week.
"We were just notified that Johnny will be here on Thursday," Contreras
said. "And we would like to decorate the town for when he is brought into
Both the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Office
agreed to escort Mata into town.
"We would be honored to provide the family with security as well," Pecos
Police Department Chief Clay McKinney said.
However, Contreras added that it was still unclear when the funeral would
As the meeting progressed organization leaders, such as the Reeves County
Sheriff's Posse and the Knights of Columbus came together to preparing food
for the Mata family.
Both Sheriff's Posse Captain Starkey Warren and Knights of Columbus member
Michael Benavides said that they would come together to cook the briskets,
which have been donated.
Further donations of briskets will be stored in the Sheriff Posse's walk-in
freezer, Sheriff's Posse member Mike Balog said.
Wal-Mart's donation of ribbons, water and paper goods were applauded by
those in attedance at Tuesday's meeting.
Contreras also informed the crowd that an e-mail account, a P.O. Box and
an account at Security State Bank had been set up for Mata.
"We were also thinking of having a vigil," Contreras said.
At that point School Board Secretary Crissy Martinez offered the Pecos
High School Gym, the football stadium or the auditorium.
With Mata's close friend, Pecos High School baseball coach Elias Payan
having a game scheduled for Friday night, the family agreed to hold a vigil
at the football stadium at 10 p.m., after the Eagles' game against Kermit.
Not knowing where they could come up with enough candles, Contreras asked
that everyone bring their own candles to vigil.
The senior class of Andrews High School also received an applause from
the crowd when Contreras informed them of their donation.
"The senior class of Andrews had been saving money for their senior trip
since their freshman year," Contreras said. "They decided to give the money
to Johnny's two children for their education."
Funeral services have been scheduled for Saturday, April 12 at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church at 2 p.m. Burial will follow at Mt. Evergreen Cemetary.
Peaceful Garden Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
City Hall ceremony in support of troops planned
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- A short ceremony will be held Thursday
in front of City Hall at 7 p.m., for the signing of a proclamation titled
'Support our Troops.'
Sixth Street will be closed so that people can walk from West Texas National
Bank to City Hall for the ceremony.
Santa Rosa holding Holy Hour to pray for soldiers
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- Santa Rosa Catholic Church will be holding
a Special Holy Hour tomorrow, Thursday April 10 beginning at 6 p.m., were
prayers for the soldiers in Iraq and for an end to the war.
A mass will follow at 7 p.m.
PECOS, Wed., April 9, 2003 -- High Tuesday 64. Low this morning 36. Forecast
for tonight: Clear. Lows near 40. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday:
Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday
night: Mostly cloudy. Lows near 50. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the
upper 80s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. Highs near 90.
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