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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, June 30, 2003

Cops arrest five following latest shooting report

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- For the third time in eight days and the fourth time in the past five weeks, Pecos Police Department were called out to investigate a shooting incident, this time involving a 20-year-old man, which resulted in the arrests of five people in connection with the incident.

Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said that they received a call at 10:03 p.m., on Saturday of a driver with a gunshot wound to the elbow.

"The caller gave a description of the suspects of the shooting and the vehicle they were in," McKinney said. "The police were able to find the vehicle and stop it at the 1200 block of Seventh."

The victim was identified as Jonathon Matta, 20, who is in good condition, McKinney said.

McKinney said that when the officers approached the vehicle on West Seventh Street, they saw six rounds of .32-calibar ammunition in the vehicle along with a 22-inch machete partially hidden underneath the front seat.

"The officers arrested the five suspects in the vehicle," McKinney said.

The individuals arrested were identified as Albaro Aranda, 29, Jesus Escontrias, 25, Antonio Gardea, 27 and Damaso Holguin, 28. Police also placed a male juvenile in the vehicle under arrest.

"They have not been charged for the shooting at this time," McKinney said. "They have been charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon."

"One was also wanted out of Rockwall County," McKinney said. "That was Aranda, for probation violation."

McKinney added that they will be contacting other people and taking their statements and processing the rest of the evidence.

Though this was the third shooting in six days, McKinney said that they do not believe this case to be gang related.

"None of these individuals to our knowledge are affiliated with any gangs," McKinney said. "So at this point we do not feel that it is gang related."

He added that the officers also conducted a search of the areas where they believed the suspected vehicle had traveled after the shooting and recovered a firearm in the vicinity of Eddy Street.

So far no one has been reported seriously wounded in any of the incidents, even though police said the two shooting victims in the first incident, on May 24, were grazed in the head by bullets, while a third person was beaten in the 2300 block of County Club Drive.

Pecos Police Lt. Kelly Davis said that one person, later identified as Mike Garcia, 18, was found at the scene with a gunshot wound, and was transported by ambulance to Reeves County Hospital, while EMS workers at the scene also treated a second person, identified as Jesus Manuel Martinez, 25, for injuries. Both were treated and released.

Davis said at the time that that there seemed to have been a previous altercation one block away, at 2310 S. Eddy St., where the window on a car registered to Ruben Jimenez had been broken.

The more recent shootings also reportedly involved some of the same individuals as in the May 24 incident, and police said those incidents and the one on May 24 were gang related.

Reeves County sheriff's deputies were dispatched out to 5401 Sierra Road at 1:17 a.m. on May 22 in connection with four people being shot, but no arrests were made in that incident.

The second shooting incident occurred on June 25, in which police officers were dispatched out to 2223 Missouri St at 3:55 a.m., in reference to a drive by shooting and an attempt to firebomb the residence.

Two individuals identified as Miguel Jurado, 17 and Rosalio Carmona, 20 were arrested in that incident.

Golden Girl pageant won by Sandoval

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- Using her singing talents to woo the audience and the judges, a Pecos High School junior was crowned Golden Girl of the Old West Friday night at the PHS Auditorium.

Maritza Sandoval was crowned the 2003 Golden Girl of the Old West by last year's winner, Dena Dutchover, during the 41st annual performance. Sandoval sang a medley of songs during the talent portion of the contest, which was held in conjunction with the annual Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant.

Sandoval, dressed in a "Charro" outfit sang a song written by Juan Gabriel and Rocio Durcal, "Me Gustas Mucho," and then changed into a western outfit to sing a song by Shania Twain, entitled, "Rock This Country."

Miss Sandoval will represent Pecos during special events including the Fort Stockton Water Carnival in late July, and all other events held in Pecos.

Nikki Reyna, who also sang a country song was named Golden Girl Runner-Up; Natalia Ornelas received the Miss Congeniality Award and Cathy Guebara received the Advertising Award.

A new Little Miss Cantaloupe was also named during the evening. The honor went to Jacqueline Barrera, the daughter of Ramon and Yvette Barrera. Runner-up was Bryce Salcido, the daughter of Bruce and Belinda Salcido.

Other nominees for Golden Girl included: Bre'Ann Windham, who did a dance routine for the talent portion of the pageant; Natalia Ornelas who played the piano as her talent routine; Cathy Guebara, played the flute and Jessica Minjarez, did a dance routine.

Tatum Hubbard, KOSA-Channel 7 news anchor and former Miss Texas, was the emcee for the evening along with Nancy Ontiveros of Pecos.

Other entertainment was held during the evening, which was the first event of Rodeo Week, which will continue in Pecos through July 5.

"Night" events called success despite shower

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- The annual Night in Old Pecos/Cantaloupe Festival events in downtown Pecos went really well Saturday evening, despite a thunderstorm that blew into town at the start of the evening's activities.

"We're very pleased with the results and the crowd that was on hand," said Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson.

Gholson said that the brief thunderstorm that blew through the area Saturday evening came at the right time. "It was right at the beginning and not when we were in the middle of things, and then it just blew right through and the weather was great after that," she said.

Gholson said that organizers of the event are very pleased with the turnout.

"The weather didn't interfere with anything, it was fantastic," said Gholson.

Gholson said that one vendor had to practically "be driven out of town." "He was so busy that there was still a line at his booth well after midnight," said Gholson. "He was selling funnel cakes and we joked that we would have to drive him away in order to close up shop," she said.

Gholson said that 98 percent of the vendors were very pleased. "A lot of them even asked us if we could make a two-day event next time and most of them said that for sure they would be back next year," said Gholson.

"All the vendors were more than satisfied," said Debbie Thomas. "We're working on plans for next year's event."

Gholson and Thomas were busy counting the money made at Saturday's event. "The entertainment was really good and the talent show went well," said Thomas.

Gholson said that everyone really pitched in and helped to make the event such a success. "The city was great, they came in put up the bleachers and they took them down yesterday and cleaned up,"said Gholson.

"We had a lot of support and a good bunch of volunteers," she said.

The group is working on the next events planned in Pecos, including the West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade, which will be held on Wednesday. The 120th anniversary edition of the rodeo will officially begin that night, but slack competition got underway this morning at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena and will continue through Tuesday, with a special bull riding session set for Tuesday evening.

Weekend storms hit area, more rain still needed

From Staff and Wire Reports
Showers were reported throughout West Texas over the weekend, leaving quite a bit of rain in areas around Pecos, though not enough to solve some of the drought problems farmers and ranchers are continuing to endure.

KIUN radio reported .07 inches fell downtown on Saturday, and .45 inches Sunday evening. This brought the weekend total to .54 inches.

To the northeast of Pecos, the Winkler County Airport, between Kermit and Wink, reported 1.44 inches of rain for the weekend. The Texas A&M Experiment Station, 8 miles west of town, reported a weekend total of 1.5 inches.

To the southwest, Balmorhea State Park did not receive any rain this weekend, while up in the Orla area, a total of .21 inch of rain was reported at Red Bluff Lake Sunday night.

Heavy rains were also reported in the Red Bluff basin in the southern part of Eddy County, N.M. but the combined rainfall was far less than needed to increase the lake's level back into the normal range.

The Red Bluff Water District hasn't been able to authorize water releases to farmers downstream on the Pecos River for the past two years, and the river itself remains dry in the Pecos area. Red Bluff secretary Robin Prewit said despite last night's shower and the recenr rainy conditions in West Texas, the lake has actually lost water this month

"For whole month it's come down about 2,000 acre/feet for the month of June," she said. The lake has less than 60,000 acre feet, and was as low as 40,000 acre/feet last year. Prior to the widening of the Trans-Pecos drought into the Pecos River basin of northern New Mexico, the lake held between 80,000 and 100,000 acre/feet of water prior to the beginning of the spring irrigation season along the Pecos River.

Lakes to the east are fairing far better this month, according to officials from other West Texas cities and water districts.

Snyder, which receives its water from Lake J.B. Thomas, which straddles Borden and Scurry counties, reported that as of last Monday, rains raised the lake about three and a half feet higher than the beginning of the month. The contents of the lake had increased by nearly 7,000 acre feet to 22,566, according to data provided by the Colorado River Municipal Water District.

"It's a blessing," John Gayle, Snyder city manager, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "It's the equivalent of a year's (water) usage for us."

The lake, along with E.V. Spence Reservoir in Coke County and O.H. Ivie Reservoir in Concho, Coleman and Runnels counties, provides most of the water to the CRMWD.

The water district supplies all the water used in Big Spring, Odessa and Snyder and a percentage of the water needs of Midland, San Angelo and Stanton.

The precipitation hasn't benefited Lake J.B. Thomas alone. The other reservoirs in the CRMWD also measured significant increases in lake levels.

North of Amarillo, Lake Meredith, which supplies roughly 70 percent of Lubbock's water, also has seen water levels rise this month.

Kent Satterwhite, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority's general manager, said June rains have increased the lake's depth between 8 and 9 inches.

John Grant, general manager for the CRMWD, said June rains have allowed discussions of water rationing to be postponed until next year.

Both water managers say that one month's rains won't take care of a regionwide drought that has reached historic proportions.

According to the National Weather Service in Midland, there is a chance of thunderstorms today and moving into Tuesday.

Lightning blamed for tank fire east of Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- The Pecos Volunteer Fire Department was called out to a tank fire Sunday night at 10:45 p.m., following a lightning strike off a ranch road near the Pecos River.

The fire was located on FM 1450 east of Pecos, three miles north of the road. Pecos volunteer fireman Jim Riley was the first to respond to the fire.

"Lightning struck a produced water tank. The tank was made of fiberglass, so it just melted and ran off," Riley said.

Riley said that there was not much oil in the tank; therefore, it did not take long for the fireman to put the fire out. He also said that a small pasture fire was caused by the lightning strike on the tank., but it did not take very long to get it out.

According to Riley, the name on the tank was Dominion, and it was located on the Wray lease.

Fire Chief Roy Pena said that it was a small fire that took them about 15 or 20 minutes to extinguish. There were no injuries reported.

Catholic war vets will honor Seijas with Open House

PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- FW Catholic War Veterans are hosting an Open House at 6 p.m., Thursday at the Santa Rosa Hall, 600 E. Third Street, to honor Marine Adam J. Seijas on his safe return home from Baghdad.

Seijas returned home last week after serving in the U.S. Marines during the recent war in Iraq.

Everybody is invited to attend.


PECOS, Mon., June 30, 2003 -- High Sunday 98. Low this morning 64. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms in the morning. Highs in the mid 90s. Light and variable winds. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 90s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s. Highs in the upper 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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