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
Archive 2001
Archive 2002
Photos 2000
Photos 2001
Photos 2002

Archive 2003

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Air Force promises no more accidental bombings

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - United States Air Force officials were in Pecos Tuesday afternoon to assure Town of Pecos City officials that changes have been made to avoid having any training flights drop dummy bombs on the routes over the region, after an incident last year in Pecos, Monahans and Maljamar, N.M.

"We do not carry live weapons," Major Dan Pimentel of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene said. "The planes are in simulated mode. It is like a computer game."

B-1 bombers from Dyess AFB, along with B-52 bombers from Barksdale AFB in Louisiana fly training routes over West Texas, and low level bombing runs south of Pecos. However, the July 16, 2002 accidental bombing was done by an F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter flying out of Holloman AFB in New Mexico.

The plane dropped a dummy bomb in the front yard of the home of Evarista Mora near the corner of Sixth and Hickory streets and imbedded itself 61/2 feet into the ground. The bomb dropped on Monahans went though the roof of a home and crashed through a bathroom, while the bomb dropped on Maljamar, N.M. landed in the middle of U.S. 82 that runs between Artesia, N.M. and Plains, Tex.

No one was injured in any of the three incidents.

The U.S. Air Force took action after the incident to ensure that crews would not inadvertently fly training routes without checking to see if their planes had bombs loaded, and Lt. Col. West Anderson, Commander of the 7th Operations Support Squadron out of Dyess said Tuesday that B-52s and B-1s would not carry any ammunition in them when they are being flown over a populated area.

"Just not knowing (about the bombs) is not going to happen," Anderson said, in reference to a pilot not knowing if his plane had any ammunition on board

He said that, as with the F-117A crews out of Holloman, if the controls were not all in agreement on the B-1s and the B-52s, the plane would not turn on.

"If there are weapons on board, people will know," Pimentel said.

In assuring city officials there would not be another mishap, Air Force officials thanked the community for allowing them to use the current flight pattern.

Airspace Manager Dwight Williams out of Dyess AFB shows those at Tuesday's meeting a chart of the Lancer MOR and the IR-178 fight paths over West Texas that are part of the Air Force's Realistic Bomber Training Initiative (RBTI). He said that what was tested on those flight paths have been employed during the war in Iraq.

"The best part of what you see here is that it is being employed in Iraq." Williams said.

Col. Frank DiGiovanni of Langley AFB added that the area provides them with the best electronic training.

"You have done an outstanding job," Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford said. "We are glad that you are pleased with the area."

DiGiovanni said that there are only three electronic scoring site facilities in the country, Pecos happens to have one of those three.

Williams said West Texas is the best training environment, and provides the USAF with 700 miles that can be traveled in an hour and fifteen minutes to and from Dyess and Barksdale AFBs.

He also added that they wanted to work with the people who might have any noise complaints. The Air Force faced lawsuits before the RBTI was initiated last year over complaints about noise from the low level flights, though a similar lawsuit filed by farmers and ranchers in the Lubbock area was thrown out last month by a federal judge.

"We do have some noise sensitive areas," Williams said.

He added that any resident that might have a complaint about the noise could call them about the problem. They then would then plot the property on their map and see what they could do to accommodate the resident.

"We will try to make every effort to fix the problem," Williams said.

High winds cause damage across West Texas

From Staff and Wire Reports

A line of storms packing strong winds and swirling dust pushed through parts of Texas Tuesday night, leaving behind uprooted trees and power lines and tearing the roofs from a few homes in Wellington.

A tractor-trailer rig was overturned south of Slaton and in El Paso.

Pecos received some early morning rain without wind on Tuesday, but the afternoon and evening winds brought no more showers to the area.

Wind gusts up to 58 mph were reported at the Pecos Municipal Airport, and forced the postponement of Pecos' high school baseball game at home Tuesday night against Monahans. A block away from the field, high winds uprooted a tree in the back yard of the 1200 block of South Park Street and pulled down an electrical line in the process, forcing Texas-New Mexico Power Co. crews to briefly shut off power in the area to repair the damage.

Wind gusts also cut visibility in the Pecos area, though not as severely as in other areas. Visibility was as low as 50 feet in El Paso on Tuesday, and high winds and blowing dust forced the postponement of the minor league baseball game in Midland Tuesday night.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from the storms that moved across the South Plains and Texas Panhandle into areas of North Texas.

In Wellington in Collingsworth County, a sheriff's department spokesman said the high winds blew the roofs off three or four homes and a gas station. Some areas of the town were without electricity. High winds also blew the roof off an apartment in Hereford.

Lance Goehring, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Amarillo, said the Collingsworth County Sheriff's Department reported the storm as a tornado.

"Of course, we'll assess it here to find out for sure what hit down there," Goehring said in a story in Wednesday's Amarillo Globe-News.

He said hail up an inch in diameter hit Wheeler County.

Lubbock International Airport recorded a wind gust of 62 mph at 7 p.m.

Lubbock firefighters spent much of the evening responding to reports of downed power poles, keeping guard until workers from Lubbock Power and Light could secure the poles, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

Visibility in the Lubbock area was reduced by the dust storm. Thick layers of dirt coated cars. Motorists had to drive with their lights on during the late afternoon.

Wind-swept Trans Mountain Road in El Paso was closed for several hours to prevent other accidents.

Clark, Harrison advance to state HS rodeo finals

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - With Pecos being the home of the World's First Rodeo, two competitors are carrying on the tradition by qualifying for the Texas High School Rodeo Finals in Abilene this June

John Marvin Clark and Kaci Harrison have competed in 16 rodeos in the Texas High School Rodeo Association's Region II, and both have qualified for state, which will take place in June in Abilene.

Clark was the 2003 Region II All-Around Champion Cowboy, Champion Calf Roper, Reserve Champion Steer Wrestler and finished fifth in the Cutting competition.

Harrison finished fourth in the Breakaway Roping and fifth in the Pole Bending. There are 25-30 contestants in each event, excluding the rough stock and the cutting competition.

Each region takes the top 10 contestants in each event to state.

Clark and Harrison will be in Abilene to qualify to go to the Nationals in Farmington, N.M. They have a good chance to qualify to go to nationals due to the fact that Region II is the defending state champions, and most of the national qualifiers from Texas come out of this region.

Clark and Harrison will also be competing in the American Junior Rodeo Association here in Pecos on June 19-21.

Churches plan special services for Easter week

Area churches are planning special services for the Easter holiday and some are set to begin on Thursday.

First United Methodist Church will observe Holy Thursday, at 7 p.m., tomorrow. On Good Friday the church will have a 'come and go' service from noon until 3 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

Christ the King Parish in Balmorhea will have mass that evening at 6 p.m., as will St. Catherine Parish in Pecos at 6 p.m., while Santa Rosa Catholic Church will have services Thursday at 7 p.m.

For Good Friday mass will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Saragosa at 11 a.m., Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Barstow at noon, at Santa Rosa Parish in Pecos at 3 p.m. and at 7 p.m. and at St. Catherine Parish at 6 p.m.

The schedule for Easter Vigil on Saturday is 6 p.m. at Christ the King Parish in Balmorhea; 8 p.m. at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Barstow, and 9 p.m. at both St. Catherine Parish and at Santa Rosa Parish in Pecos.

Easter Sunrise Services in Barstow on the Hill, north on Farm Market Road 516, will be held on Easter Sunday and be conducted by Pastor Jim Daniels.

Also on Easter Sunday, Santa Rosa will hold a special service at 7:30 a.m., at 8:30 a.m. and at noon in Pecos; St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Pecos will hold a service at 10:30 a.m.; Our Lady of Refuge in Barstow will hold a service at 9 a.m. and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Saragosa will hold a service at 11:30 a.m.

Early voting busy for city, school election

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - Early voting began today for the local city and school elections, and a number of individuals have already cast their votes for the May 3 races.

Polls opened at 8 a.m., today, at the Pecos Community Center, located on Oak Street and will be open until 5 p.m. today and Thursday.

"We'll be off for Good Friday and open the polls back up on Monday," said Early Voting Coordinator Debbie Thomas.

Poll will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through April 29.

Already 18 individuals have cast their votes early at the Community Center, and 200 ballots have been mailed out.

Individuals will have a chance to vote for city and school officials and voting will be held May 3, at the Community Center. Polls that day will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

"Everything is going really well so far," said Thomas. "We had a good number today and expect more to come in throughout early voting," she said.

Four candidates are seeking two three-year terms in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD race, while four candidates are seeking the three available two-year seats on the Town of Pecos City Council.

Incumbents David Flores and Steve Valenzuela are seeking new terms on the school board and are challenged by Randy Baeza and Amy Montgomery Miller, while in the city race incumbents Gerald Tellez and Frank Sanchez are seeking new terms, while Danny Rodriguez and Mark Bragg.

The only other contested local race is down in Balmorhea, where Abel Baeza, Courtney Ballard, Sharon Oates, Paul Matta and Tommy Rey Dominguez are vying for the two seats on the Balmorhea School Board.

Barstow and Mentone voters also have a regional election they can votes in, the special election for the 19th Congressional District. A total of 17 candidates are running in the race to succeed Republican Larry Combest. Early voting in that race is being conducted in Mentone for Loving County voters and in Monahans for Ward County voters.

NWS spotter class at OC on Thursday

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - The National Weather Service of Midland will be conducting a storm spotter class from 7-9 p.m., Thursday at the Reeves County Civic Center.

The public is invited to attend and there will be no charge.

Exam sign-up deadline today

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - Credit by examination (without prior instruction), sign up deadline is today, in the counselor's office at the Pecos High School.

Credit by examination for acceleration allows students enrolled in grades 9-12 to be awarded credit toward high school graduation for acceleration.Application may be obtained from the student's guidance counselor.

Students can sign up with Pat Cobos or Eva Arriola. Test dates are April 30, May 1-2, at 4 p.m., at the high school.

PECOS, April 16, 2003 - High Tuesday 94. Low this morning 60. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 15 to20 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. Highs near 80.

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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise