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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, June 2, 2003

Students urged to set new goals at graduation

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 2, 2003 -- Pecos High School's Class of 2003 heard from the area's state representative on reaching their goals, and from the top two graduates from this year's class on Friday night, during commencement ceremonies at Eagle Stadium.

State Rep. Pete Gallego took a break from the closing days of the 2003 session of the Texas Legislature to fly into Pecos and deliver the commencement address, which came in-between the addresses by 2003 salutatorian Phillip Salcido and valedictorian Kristian Aguilar.

Gallego, D-Alpine, who is in his seventh term representing the 74th District in the state legislature, said that while his father was a member of the Alpine school board, he was not one of the top graduates when he left high school in the late 1970s.

"But as I went on through life I realized everything I could dream about in life I could do," said Gallego, who went on to get his law degree and was elected to the Texas House in 1990. "Anything I wanted I could do with a little work."

"Always think for yourself and make up your own mind on what you want to do in life," said Gallego, who told those students who did not earn top grades in school to move past their high school problems the way he did following graduation.

"Life is a kind of education. You never stop learning, and learning is the most important thing you can do with your life," said Gallego, who flew back to Austin after delivering his speech to the Eagle Stadium crowd.

"I always try to accommodate schools that wear purple and gold," Gallego joked before the ceremony began. Pecos and Alpine share purple and gold as their school colors.

Both Aguilar and Salcido thanked their family and friends during their commencement addresses.

"We have always been a competitive class," Aguilar said. "You need to take that competitiveness out into the real world."

Along with giving specific thanks to several of his friends, family and teachers, Salcido also added thanks to the Pecos High School custodians during his speech. "I don't know how many times I forgot a book or paper at school. I'd like to thank the custodians for helping me out," he said.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members Crissy Martinez and Chip Flores helped PHS principal Danny Rodriguez hand out the diplomas for this year's graduation ceremony, during which students were able to keep themselves entertained at times with a beach ball toss among the graduating class during the 45 minute roll call of the 2003 graduates. The beach ball ended up in the possession of P-B-T personnel director Gome Olibas, but the students were able to toss their caps in the air after Rodriguez officially certified their graduation.

Gallego sees redistricting in special session

From Staff and Wire Reports
Action by the Texas Legislature over the weekend has made the chances that Gov. Rick Perry will call a special session of the legislature slightly less likely. However, several issues remain unresolved as the session enters its final day, and a special session that could include the controversial redistricting proposal remains a strong possibility.

Republicans have a vested interest in a ballyhooed congressional redistricting bill that fizzled at the hands of quorum-busting Democrats, but could be revived if a special session is called.

The redistricting push was successfully killed in regular session when several Democrats successfully fled the state to block the bill.

But, round two could be looming as Republican Gov. Rick Perry holds the authority to call a 30-day special session for legislation on which redistricting could be piggybacked.

"Unless the governor calls a special session and puts redistricting on it, it's dead until 2005," said Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford. King drew the proposed map which led 50 House Democrats to flee to Ardmore, Okla., for four days, until the deadline had passed for introducing the legislation.

Agreements over the weekend on several key issues, including medical malpractice and ethics reform, have been passed by the legislature. However, Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat, predicted that redistricting legislation would be addressed in a special session called for school finance. Perry has already announced his intention to call a special session for school finance.

State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, said on Friday that if one is called by Perry, he expects redistricting to be added onto the agenda.

"The governor gets to decide the rules of the session. It's the only time he gets to do that," said Gallego, who was one of the leaders of the House Democrats who fled Austin to block the redistricting plan. "Whether he puts it on the call is what we're talking about.

"I know he would very much like to have redistricting done. The question is whether he wants it badly enough to call a special session. My guess is if he calls a special session on something else he will use it to add redistricting."

In an e-mail obtained Saturday by The Associated Press, Dub Maines, a Washington consultant and former employee of U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, sent a series of political insiders a map that "we likely will start with in the event of a special session."

Maines said he was sending King's substitute map to a list of people who weren't able to find it on their own. The list included state Rep. Dan Flynn, a Republican from Van.

Democrats in Texas, however, were skeptical.

"Obviously, they're still looking at maps and ready to move forward with redistricting," said Coleman, upon seeing the e-mail.

"I'm not surprised," said Rep. Richard Raymond, a South Texas Democrat who sat on the House Redistricting Committee, after reading the e-mail. "I feel confident that (U.S. House Majority Leader Tom) DeLay wants to continue to manipulate Republicans in Austin."

Rep. Jim Dunnam, chair of the Democratic Caucus, called the prospect "repugnant."

"They need to be concentrating on the real business of the state," said Dunnam, D-Waco.

The proposed map by King is expected to increase the Texas GOP delegation by five, tipping the scales in the party's favor in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Constitution mandates that congressional lines are redrawn every 10 years in Texas and 2003 is not a redistricting year. But, because a federal court drew Texas' congressional districts after state lawmakers failed to do so in 2001, Republicans say districts should be redrawn by the Texas Legislature. The federal court gave the legislature the option to attempt a new redistricting plan when they drew up their map for the 2002 elections.

Democrats vehemently oppose redistricting and have lambasted DeLay for bringing their bias to Texas lawmakers.

"(Barton) wants a special session with redistricting on the call. Most Republicans obviously want that," Maines said.

King has denied that members of Congress had command of his map.

"For me it was just our congressional delegation makeup didn't reflect the Republican voting strength in Texas," King said. "I think I drew a good map."

Earlier this week, 55 House Democrats sent a letter to Perry asking that he drop consideration of redistricting.

"The decision to bring up congressional redistricting during the regular session caused unnecessary wounds that are now healing and can be overcome," the letter said. "We trust that you will help us come together to focus on the serious issues facing our state."

Four Republican House members late Saturday implored the governor to call a special session to address ethics legislation. "We feel that the glare of the limelight will encourage members of both the House and Senate to get serious about tougher ethics rules," said Mary Denny, R-Aubrey.

Searchers find Odessa victim of drowning

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 2, 2003 -- The body of a man who drowned out at Red Bluff Lake over the Memorial Day weekend was recovered Friday afternoon, after it floated to the surface near the last place he had been seen.

Reeves County Sheriff Department's Lt. Mike Dominguez said that they were conducting a boat search when he located the body of Nathan Mazoch through his binoculars late Friday afternoon.

"We found him floating," Dominguez said. "He was about 100 yards from where he went down."

"Judge (Amonario) Ramon ordered an autopsy of the body," Dominguez said.

The search came after Mazoch had gone underwater when trying to swim to shore to get help, after the boat he was in ran out of gas. He reportedly was in the middle of the lake when he called for help.

The 26-year-old Mazoch, of Odessa, was with friends and family members when the drowning occurred. His friends had swum out to try to help him but were never able to find him.

Dominguez said that Reeves County Game Warden Brad Reeves is the lead investigator in the case, and deputies only assisted them. Both Reeves and Loving counties share Red Bluff Lake, and the search was focused in the Sandy Beach area on the Loving County side of the lake, located 40 miles north of Pecos.

"It is a Game Warden investigation," Dominguez said. "We assisted them. During the four days we were living out there until the body was recovered."

Reeves said last week that the search for the victim began late Monday afternoon, which turned into what Reeves said "was more of a recovery effort," after Mazoch could not be located by Tuesday afternoon.

Dominguez said that he would like to also thank Paul Putnam for all of his help during the four-day search.

"He let us use his boat and hooks," Dominguez said. "He was a major help."

Ward, Loving special election voting Tuesday

PECOS, Mon., June 2, 2003 -- Ward and Loving county voters will be going to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in the special election for the 19th Congressional District runoff election. However, in both counties, there will be only one polling place open to cast ballots.

The election will run from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. but the only polling sites open will be at the Loving and Ward County courthouses. Anyone living in Barstow, Pyote, Wickett or Grandfalls who wants to cast a ballot will have to drive to the Ward County Clerk's office in Monahans to do so. Loving County voters will be casting ballots at the courthouse in Mentone.

Randy Neugebauer, 53, of Lubbock, and Mike Conaway, 54, of Midland are in the election to decide the replacement for Larry Combest, who retired from Congress at the end of May. The winner will serve out the final 19 months of Combest's two-year term.


PECOS, Mon., June 2, 2003 -- High Sunday 105. Low this morning 67. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs near 100. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s.

Police Report

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.


Gregorio Barrera, 41, was arrested at 7:55 p.m., on May 31, in the 900 block of West Eighth Street for possession of a controlled substance, heroin - a second-degree felony.


Mike Jimenez, 47, was arrested at 11:29 p.m., on May 31, on the corner of Seventh and Peach streets on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance, heroin - a state jail felony.


Ana Saenz, 28, was arrested at 7:55 p.m., on May 31, in the 900 block of West Eighth Street on two warrants for animal at large and two warrants for violation promise to appear.


Mickey Gabaldon, 19, was arrested at 11:58 p.m., on May 31, at the Riverside Ballroom on East Third Street on a capias warrant for public intoxication.


Sergio Cerna, 18, was arrested at 12:59 a.m., on June 1, in the 1400 block of East Fourth Street for public intoxication.


Leroy Chaves, 22, was arrested at 2:44 a.m., on June 1, in the 200 block of East "B" Street on a capias warrant for unrestrained child under two-years of age.


Herby Armendariz, 51, was arrested at 10:27 a.m., on May 30, in the 400 block of East "D" Street for possession of a controlled substance.


Louis Bierman, 49, and Arvilla Bierman, 43, were arrested at 2:46 p.m., on May 30, at the Pecos Inn. Louis Bierman was arrested on a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender - Colorado. Arvilla Bierman was arrested on a warrant for theft/forgery - Colorado.


Juan Vasquez, 21, was arrested at 9:51 p.m., on May 28, at the corner of Fourth and Elm on a warrant for unlawful to issue worthless checks.


Erika Lopez Alvarez, 30, was arrested at 3:32 p.m., on May 28, at the corner of 11th and Sycamore streets on a warrant for speeding in a school zone and a warrant for violation promise to appear.


Chasedy Alvarez, 24, was arrested at 9:40 p.m., on May 27, in the 2200 block of South Hackberry Street for assault - family violence act.


Arturo Hernandez, 20, was arrested at 11:51 p.m., in the 1000 block of East 10th Street on two warrants for public intoxication.


Thomas Marquez, 35, was arrest at 8:28 p.m., on May 27, in the 1100 block of South Hickory Street on a warrant for theft under $50.


Arturo Chavez, 38, was arrested at 10:22 p.m., on May 27, in the 900 block of South Pecan Street on a capias warrant for city ordinance - animal at large, a warrant for an outstanding DPS warrant for no drivers license - Reeves County, a warrant for an outstanding DPS warrant for operation of an unregistered motor vehicle - Ward County and a warrant for an outstanding DPS warrant for no liable insurance - Ward County.


Erek Brown, 22, was arrested at 7:40 p.m., on May 27, in the 400 block of Sycamore Street on a capias warrant for possession of alcoholic beverage open container.


Isabel Esparza, 19, was arrested at 8:11 p.m., on May 27, in the 2100 block of Country Club on a capias warrant for minor in possession of alcohol.


Samuel Fuentes, 25, was arrested at 10:59 p.m., on May 27, in the 900 block of South Plum on a warrant for failure to control speed causing an accident and a warrant for violation promise to appear.


Jaime Losoya, 20, was arrested at 7:05 p.m., on May 26, at the corner of Third and Locust on a warrant for theft by check out of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.


Javier Herrera, 40, was arrested at 7:52 p.m., on May 26, in the 1200 block of South Plum on a warrant for probation violation - Reeves County Sheriff's Office.


Jesus Barreno, 45, and Yolanda Rodriguez, 33, were arrested at 8:50 p.m., on May 26, at the corner of Hackberry Street and Veterans Boulevard. Barreno was arrested for expired registration and inspection sticker. Rodriguez was arrested for evading.


Mauricio Rodriguez, 17, was arrested at 4:17 p.m., on May 26, at the corner of Eddy and Jackson streets for driving while license invalid.


Willie Mae Simmons, 49, was arrested at 10:35 a.m., on May 22, in the 700 block of Daggett Street on a Reeves County warrant for probation violation.


Quastasha Barton, 24, was arrested at 3:11 p.m., on May 22, at Bessie Haynes Elementary on East 11th Street on a Reeves County warrant for probation violation.


Katie Gabaldon, 17, was arrested at 7:30 p.m., on May 21, in the 100 block of South Pecan Street on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance, cocaine - state jail felony.


Jerry Dominguez Jr., 21, was arrested at 9:21 a.m., on May 21, in the 700 block Daggett of on a Reeves County warrant for motion to adjudicate - aggravated assault, warrant for possession of alcohol open container and a warrant for violation promise to appear.


Ricky Don Oliver, 43, was arrested at 3:56 p.m., on May 21, in the 1900 block of West Fourth Street on a warrant for parole violation.


Miguel C. Contreras, Cora Lee Lasky, Chun S. Lee, M.D., Jose Felix Mesta, Rosenda M. Pisana and Harriet Ester Scott

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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