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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

City's plans in place for Main Street Program

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- Town of Pecos City Main Street Program Coordinator Tom Rivera already has plans for the next few months sketched out, after the city was approved last Friday to become part of the state's Main Street program.

Pecos was accepted along with three other cities as the newest members of the program, which is sponsored by the Texas Historical Society. The 22-year-old program is geared towards revitalizing historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and has over 70 cities currently as participating members.

"Needless to say we were excited about being selected. Now the work starts," Rivera said.

The program is based on a four-point approach organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, all within the context of historic preservation. As part of that, Rivera said committees would be set up to deal with those four aspects of the project.

"One of the first things we plan to do is have a board of directors meeting on Thursday," Rivera said. "We're going to get a new board put together, and once we do that we've got to set up design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring committees.

"The board will consist of nine members. Once we get the committees going they'll be chaired by a board member, then we will look to get volunteers to serve on those committees," he added.

"The state will be conducting board member training in Alpine next month (Nov. 17), and we're trying to get as many people to attend that session as possible," Rivera said.

Acceptance to the program includes free technical assistance, design assistance and training from the THC's Texas Main Street Program staff. Rivera said the first visits should come within the next six months, prior to the visit Texas First Lady Anita Perry to officially kick-off the program.

"One of the main projects the new board will be working on first is getting ready for the first lady's visit. They normally conduct these things around mid-April to late April," said Rivera. "We've really got a lot of work to do before her visit, which will include a ceremony downtown for the official dedication."

Aside from preparing for Perry's visit, Rivera said the board will also designate a community project that will be the first to receive help from the THC's staff. "The most likely project we'll work on first is the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame project at the (Union Pacific) depot. Since it is a downtown location, that's a good place to start."

The Rodeo Hall has been in the planning stages for the past four years, about a year before Pecos first applied to join the Main Street Program. Rivera said there are also other local downtown projects in place aside from the upcoming work with the Texas Historical Commission.

"We've already got a program in place that hasn't been taken advantage of. The two local banks have come together to establish a low-interest loan program," Rivera said. "There's about a half-million available to businesses in the downtown area at very attractive rates.

"Something else we're trying to implement is a small grant program for downtown business owners. It's not much, but they can get the money to work on their facades to improve the front of their buildings," he said.

Rivera said the effectiveness of the program will depend on participation by Pecos residents outside of those on the committees. "We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "I can't stress enough the importance to the community not only in supporting the program, but also in getting involved."

Arson eyed in east side house fires

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- Pecos volunteer firemen were able to put out a fire on a mattress in an abandoned east side home Monday night before the fire had a chance to do serious damage to the structure.

Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said arson was the likely cause of the fire at 705 S. Almond St., which was reported shortly before 9 p.m. on Monday.

"There is not supposed to be anybody in the house," Brookshire said. "It was probably intentional. There's no electricity, no gas and no utilities at all there."

He said the fire was set on a mattress in the front bedroom, located on the northeast side of the home. "The back door was kicked in, and the middle front window had some BB holes," Brookshire added.

The fire was the second in the past several days in an abandoned home on the east side of Pecos, though Brookshire said the first, on South Magnolia Street, began outside the building.

"Some kids set some weeds on fire, and it caught the house on fire," he said. "You could tell where the grass was set on fire, because it just burned up to the house."

NMMI mourns student's death north of Pecos

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- Students and faculty at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell are mourning the death of a fellow student in a one-vehicle rollover Sunday north of Pecos, in an accident that left three other persons injured.

Mauricio Fourcade, 19, of Hermosillo, Mexico, was thrown out as the car overturned. He was pronounced dead at Reeves County Hospital in Pecos following the accident, which occurred at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday on U.S. 285, 131/2 miles north of Pecos.

Fourcade had attended the institute for five years and was ready to graduate this year, said Chief Warrant Officer Carl Hansen, an NMMI spokesman.

"It's hit everybody here very, very hard," Hansen said Tuesday. "This kid, he was well loved and well respected by everybody."

Rachel Kingrey, 20, from Ruidoso, was airlifted to Odessa Medical Center and was in stable but critical condition Monday. The driver and one other passenger in the Chrysler PT Cruiser were treated overnight at Reeves County Hospital and released on Monday.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred when the tread on the left rear tire came off and the tire blew out while the car was northbound on U.S. 285, causing the car to enter the bar ditch on the side of the road and roll over

Justice of the Peace Jim Riley pronounced Fourcade dead at 3:40 p.m. at Reeves County Hospital; the body was transported to Pecos Funeral Home.

Neither Fourcade nor Kingrey were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, according to the DPS report.

Kingrey's mother, Nora Midkiff, said her daughter had a head injury and was sedated and on ventilation.

"We are standing by and pretty optimistic," Kingrey told the Roswell Daily Record on Monday.

Seth Wilson, who was driving, suffered a head injury and was treated at Reeves County Hospital. Wilson, 19, of Belen, was released Monday and returned to NMMI.

Regimental Commander John White, 19, received bruises and also was taken to Reeves Hospital and returned to NMMI on Monday. White, from Houston, was recently recognized as the first black regimental commander in the school's history and has nearly 1,000 cadets under his command.

NMMI spokesman Carl Hansen said the school is providing support for the families and students.

"Counselors were called to the campus Sunday evening to help faculty, staff and the corps of cadets deal with this tragedy that affects us all," he said.

Validation session for lambs, goat Friday, Saturday

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- The Reeves-Loving County Extension Office will be having lamb and goat validation for 4-H and FFA participants this Friday in Balmorhea from 3:40-5:30 p.m. and Saturday in Pecos starting at 8:30 a.m. in the high school AG building.

For information contact Sue Evans at 432-445-4321 or 432-445-4092.

Jeweler suffers small loss, damage from break-in

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- Pecos police are investigating the burglary of a downtown jewelry store that occurred over the weekend.

Fonville's Jewelers at 124 S. Oak St., was broken into early Saturday morning. According to police reports, thieves broke the glass out of the front door with a rock at around midnight. The thieves then broke the glass out of the closest case to the door and took six items.

Owner Bill Cooksey estimates the value of the items taken to be $500-$600. The cost of the glass replacement he says will cost approximately $400.

Police notified Cooksey soon after patrol cars arrived on the scene. The investigation was completed and the front door was secure again by 3 a.m.

"I had the door boarded up and the alarm attached to the makeshift window, but I just couldn't sleep well knowing that the store was not completely secure," Cooksey said.

By Saturday afternoon, the glass was replaced and the only sign that there had been a break in was a few missed pieces of safety glass around the front door.

This robbery doesn't necessarily go along with a spree; break-ins have actually dropped slightly since summer according to police reports.

Of the 47 years Cooksey has been working at Fonville's, this is approximately the 20th break-in he has had.

"We actually had over 11 in one year, but they typically don't get away with anything," Cooksey said, "The police response is usually so quick that the sirens scare the thieves off before they can get anything." "We have had people try to break in though about every window in the place, we even had a guy try to cut his way in though the roof," he added.


PECOS, Tues., Oct. 21, 2003 -- High Monday 90. Low this morning 50. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 50 to 55. East winds near 10 mph in the evening becoming light and variable. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 85 to 90. Light and variable winds. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Light and variable winds. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s to the lower 90s. SW winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s to the lower 60s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s to the lower 90s. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.


William Talley, Ruth Clark and Conita Lester

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