Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Census reports area continued population loss
From Staff and Wire Report
Reeves County's population decline during the 1990s continued into 2002,
according to figures released on Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The bureau released its 2002 census report for Texas counties, and they
showed Reeves County as one of the 20 fastest shrinking counties along with
Loving, Terrell, Winkler and Jeff Davis Counties in the Trans-Pecos region.
The county lost 2558 residents during 2002, according to the government's
Nolan County (Sweetwater) and Dawson County (Lamesa) were also similar
sized West Texas counties in terms of population that reported losses, the
Census Bureau said.
According to the census report Reeves County had shrunk by 2 percent
between 2001 and 2002. Loving had a percentage loss of three percent, while
Winkler had a percentage loss of 1.8 percent and Jeff Davis had a loss of
The county's estimated population in 2001 was 12,736, while the 2002
population was 12,478, according to the numbers released on Wednesday.
The decline coincided with the closing at the end of May 2001 of the
Anchor Foods plant in Pecos, which employed 10 percent of Reeves County's
workforce. The plant has since reopened after being purchased by TransPecos
Foods, but the number of workers is still about 500 below the level employed
by Anchor at the start of 2002.
Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford said that she was not surprised
by the results.
"I had realized that Town of Pecos City had shrunk, but I was not aware
of the percentage," Stafford said.
However, she said that she believed that the kidney dialysis center at
the Reeves County Hospital would build up the community.
"We will improve," Stafford said. "I see it (kidney dialysis) as an asset."
Stafford added that she did not accredit the total loss of population
to the closing of Anchor.
"The closing of Anchor was just on contribution," Stafford said. "Other
reasons are that older people are retiring and moving closer to their children
and some of them are just being transferred to other places."
Along with the kidney dialysis, Stafford said that Trans Pecos would
also help revive the town.
Statewide, the Census Bureau said Texas' population growth is slowing,
but sharp gains were still reported in some suburban counties in Central
and East Texas.
"If you look at the raw numbers, you see Texas growing as it did in the
past," said state demographer Steve Murdock, head of the Texas State Data
Center in College Station. "If you annualize (growth) just from the numbers
of 387,000 per year in the 1990s and 415,000 annualized from 2000-2002,
it doesn't look like much change.
"If you start looking at the rates, you begin to see what I would call
dark demographic clouds gathering."
The annual growth rate since the census was taken in April 2000 through
July 1, 2002, was 1.9 percent. That's a 17 percent plunge from the 2.3-percent
annual growth rate in the 1990s, thus the dark clouds.
Still, Texas grew to an estimated population of 21.8 million as of last
summer, adding 928,000 persons since Census 2000.
"In 25 of the 27 metropolitan areas growth was slower annualized," Murdock
said, adding that the Brazoria County and Tyler areas barely bucked the
trend with essentially flat growth.
The estimates show 197 Texas counties grew more slowly, or shrank more
quickly, in the early part of this decade than they did during the 1990s.
Nearly half the counties, 114, have lost population since 2000, including
metropolitan counties like Jefferson, Wichita and Tom Green.
Despite all that, Rockwall County just east of Dallas managed to become
the nation's fastest-growing county, bulging by 7.9 percent over one year's
time to nearly 51,000 residents. It grew by an even more robust 11.4 percent
the previous year, but the emerging suburb continues to boom by any measure.
At the other end, three of the of the 20 fastest-shrinking counties also
were in Texas, including Stonewall County, which ranked fourth from the
bottom among 3,141 U.S. counties with a -5.6 percent growth rate. Nearby
Cochran and Foard counties, all three set in the long-stagnant region between
Fort Worth and Lubbock christened "The Big Empty" by late author and area
native Jim Corder, also were among the nation's fastest-shrinking.
Reeves County's 2 percent drop put it 11th on the list of the 20 counties
with the greated population loss. Loving County was sixth on the list, but
as the nation's least-populated county, the loss of two residents was all
it took to cause a 3 percent drop in the county's population.
Special services for Easter starting tonight
PECOS, Thurs., April 17, 2003 -- Local Catholic Churches will be
having special services throughout this week.
Services for tonight include the Christ the King Parish in Balmorhea at
6 p.m.; St. Catherine Catholic Church in Pecos, 6 p.m. and Santa Rosa Parish,
Service schedules for Good Friday include Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish,
Saragosa, 11 a.m.; Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Barstow, noon; Santa Rosa
Parish, Pecos, 3 p.m.; St. Catherine Parish, Pecos, 6 p.m. and Santa Rosa
Parish, 7 p.m.
Times for Easter Vigil on Saturday are: Christ the King Parish, Balmorhea
6 p.m.; Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Barstow, 8 p.m.; St. Catherine Parish,
Pecos, 9 p.m. and Santa Rosa Parish, Pecos, 9 p.m.
Easter Sunday services include: Santa Rosa Parish, Pecos, 7:30 a.m., 10
a.m. and noon; St. Catherine Parish, Pecos, 10:30 a.m. and Our Lady of Guadalupe
Parish, Saragosa, noon.
Special services also have been scheduled today and Friday by First United
Methodist Church. It will observe Holy Thursday, at 7 p.m., today and on
Good Friday the church will have a 'come and go' service from noon until
Second motel getting fix-up
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Thurs., April 17, 2003 -- A second motel located on Third Street
in Pecos is being fixed up for opening up some time in the next month or
Owner/General Contractor from California, who gave his name as Nick G,.
said that he hopes to open his motel next month.
Nick said that he has been working on making the improvements to his
building since last month.
"I am completely remodeling," Nick said. "There will be new windows,
new doors, new carpet, new everything."
He also said that there would be a swimming pool and a restaurant but
was not sure on how the restaurant would work.
While the motel will have some new items, he added that he would be keeping
something old from the building.
The motel, which was known as the Roper's Motel would now be known as
the Sunset Roper's Motel, he said.
"I want people to associate the old name with the new name," Nick said.
Nick said that his motel would consist of 30 rooms, five or six of them
"Most rooms will have one bed," Nick said. "Some will have two."
The apartments would be located on the west wing of the building, he
He said that he also had a parking lot big enough for truckers to park
their trucks in. and had a paving machine out last week working on the parking
area around the motel.
The work on the motel comes after another Third Street motel, the Pecos
Inn, was reopened last month on the west side of town. That motel had been
closed for about 15 years, and is being operated by Richard Hayes, for owner
Jack Patel of Hartford, Calif.
Rec department signs up players for 3-on-3 league
PECOS, Thurs., April 17, 2003 -- The Reeves County Community Sports
and Recreation Department is signing up incoming seventh, eighth and ninth
graders for its 3-on-3 basketball league.
Sign-ups will run through May 9 and are open to boys and girls entering
seventh through ninth grades in August. Registration fee is $10 and students
can pick up enrollment forms during regular office hours.
Report cards, birth certificates and parental signatures are required
when returning the completed forms. For further information, call the recreation
department at 447-9776.
PECOS, Thurs., April 17, 2003 -- High Wednesday 90. Low this morning
53. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. Southwest
winds 10 to 20 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 80s. West
winds 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 80. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the
mid 40s. Highs in the mid 70s.
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