Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Air Force promises no more accidental bombings
By JENNIFER GALVAN
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
"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
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
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
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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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
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.
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