Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Heater blamed for starting fire
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- A fire caused major damage to a home
on the north side of city this morning, but only minor injuries were
Four fire units were dispatched to 219 N. Ash St., a little before
10 a.m. in response to a house fire, which is being blamed on a
portable electric heater in use in the bedroom of the home.
"The cause of the fire was that the people that lived there had a
space heater that was too close to a bed and it caught fire," said Town
of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.
There were two people inside the home at the time. One of the two, a
woman, was taken to Reeves County for minor burns, according to
"Major fire damage was done in the bedroom and attic and the rest of
the house sustained a lot of smoke and heat damage," said Brookshire.
The fire was extinguished in a little over an hour, according to
Brookshire, who warned that at this time of year, people should be
cautious when using electric heaters.
Suit seeks halt to Pecos River water releases
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A Carlsbad farming couple filed notice with the
state that they intend to object to the proposed settlement of a
lawsuit over water on the Pecos River.
Carlsbad farmers Louise and Francis Tracy filed notice last week
that they intend to object to the proposed agreement, which would
settle a longstanding water rights adjudication lawsuit known as the
The dispute has been in court since 1956. The settlement would
establish the Carlsbad district's right to divert up to 125,200
acre-feet from the Pecos and Black rivers and require the Interstate
Stream Commission to buy the land with water rights in the Pecos River
The state wants to buy 12,000 acres around Roswell and 6,000 acres
in the Carlsbad Irrigation District. It then would pump the water that
would have been used for irrigation into the river to meet its
obligations to deliver water downstream to Texas under the Pecos River
A special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989
that New Mexico was in violation of the 1946 Compact. Under an
agreement approved by the special master, New Mexico paid Texas $14
million in damages and guaranteed that it would fulfill its water
release obligations under the original terms of the agreement.
But drought conditions in New Mexico over the past two years have
made New Mexico's efforts to fulfill the terms of the agreement more
difficult, and have pushed forward efforts to buy back water rights in
Southeastern New Mexico to permit the required water releases to Texas.
The Legislature has approved $30 million and there's $10 million
more in bonds to buy land and water rights around Roswell and Carlsbad.
As a condition of spending the money, the Legislature specified that
the Lewis case be settled.
RCH board OKs bonuses, fetal monitor
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- The Reeves County Hospital Board approved
holiday bonus checks and approved the purchase of a new fetal monitor
during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night in the classroom of
The board also discussed scheduling of the December board meeting
around the Christmas holiday period and other regular monthly items on
All board members were in attendance to approve the yearly employee
appreciation awards for the holiday season. The awards will be for $100
for full-time employees and $50 for part-time. This carries on the
tradition of the holiday bonus at the hospital as opposed to a large
party that might incur some sort of liability, according to RCH
Administrator Robert Vernor.
The board also voted to move next month's meeting ahead 10 days,
from Dec. 23 to Dec. 13, due to its close proximity to the Christmas
holiday. The proposal passed unanimously on a motion by Chel Flores,
which was seconded by Pablo Carrasco.
Board members also heard from Director of nursing Carla
Windsor-Rivas on the future purchase of new fetal-maternal monitors.
The current monitors have been in use for as long as 20 years.
The suggested replacements are slated to cost the hospital around
$38,000, but should include many new features, along with possible
upgrades, if the hospital chooses to do so in the future.
Rivas suggested to the board two possible replacements for the
outdated models currently in use. She pointed out that the current
models could be used for a while longer, but the company had stopped
making replacement parts to keep the machines in working order.
The two suggestions put forth by Rivas included models from GE and
Phillips. Rivas stated that both models did the job efficiently, but
the GE model had certain features that make it a much better buy.
First, the GE model had a much larger screen that could be observed
by the nurses at different locations in the room; the Phillips monitor
could only be viewed directly in front of the unit. In addition, the
same company that had manufactured the previous models the hospital had
used that had lasted for so long also makes the GE unit.
Rivas added that the GE representative was much more willing to work
with the hospital in getting the peripheral equipment needed to
accurately test the monitors out during the trial period. She said that
the Phillips representative dropped the unit off and wasn't heard from
until it was time to pick the trial unit back up.
"The only written comments we have received were from a nurse in
support of the GE model. The verbal support, once the employees became
familiar with the different models they came out in support of the GE
for its ease of use," Rivas said. "Also, both Dr. (Joseph) Darpolar and
Dr. Dele (Dr. Oladele Olusanya) have verbally given support for the GE
Board member Leo Hung asked Rivas if she had received any negative
comments on the monitors. Rivas saidy she had only heard about the
small size of the Phillips monitor screen being the sole negative
comment during the trial period. She went on to point out that while
the Phillips model was slightly cheaper, the GE representative was
currently working hard to find any and every discount available to RCH.
The proposal to buy the GE fetal monitor passed unanimously on a
motion from Leo Hung and a second by Chel Flores.
In other business, the board heard from Vernor's monthly
Administrators report. He pointed out that the 80 percent inspection
was approaching and that construction was still ahead of schedule and
"The Texas Department of Health has scheduled the 80 percent
walkthrough for Dec. 29. The architects will be having their monthly
meeting on Dec. 3, but will be returning for the walkthrough and
holding their January meeting the same day," Vernor said.
"I recently looked at an article on the new hospital facilities
being constructed in Colorado City. The project is currently $4 million
over budget, due in large part to the large number of change orders and
the 58 problems that arose during the TDH walkthrough, and they haven't
started on the parking lot yet. I tell you this to illustrate the value
of choosing a quality architectural firm like the one we have. They
might cost a little more, but in the end I believe will be well worth
the extra up front expense in the money they save us," he added.
The board then entered into executive session to discuss personnel
issues, and decided to take no action on the personnel matters item on
the agenda listed under the executive session.
Businesses, government offices taking holiday off
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- Local entities and businesses will be
closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and some are planning to
remain closed on Friday as well.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools were closed today and will remain
closed until Monday, while Town of Pecos City will be closed Thursday
and Friday and resume their regular hours on Monday.
Reeves County Courthouse, Lucius Bunton Courthouse and all the
utility companies will be closed Thursday to observe the holiday.
Both Security State and West Texas National Bank will be closed on
Thursday. Security State Bank will open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on
Friday and West Texas National Bank will be open all day Friday.
Texas-New Mexico Power Company will be closed both Thursday and
La Tienda Thriftway will be open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., Thursday
and all day Friday, while Bob's Thriftway will be closed Thursday and
open regular hours on Friday. Local convenience stores will be open for
their regular hours on Thursday.
The Pecos Enterprise will not print a paper on that day. The
Enterprise will publish on Friday, but will close at 4 p.m. The paper
will resume regular business hours on Monday.
Dawdy enjoys 20 years in local law enforcement
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- Tony Dawdy, the jail administrator for
the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, has been working for law enforcement
agencies here in Pecos for almost 20 years.
Born in Dallas, Dawdy moved to Pecos when he was 9 and attended
local schools, graduating from Pecos High School in 1976. He played for
the Eagle football team all four years of high school as a defensive
end and tight end on offense, and was part of the state semi-final
qualifying team that year.
After high school Dawdy realized that law enforcement was the way he
wanted to take his life.
"One of the main reasons I became a police officer to defend those
who cannot defend themselves. I could see the relief on peoples faces
when a squad car pull up and I knew that the job I was worth while."
In 1984 Dawdy joined the Reeves County Sheriff's Department as a
jailer. After a while the opportunity arose to get promoted to the
transportation director, but the position required a law enforcement
degree. Therefore Dawdy attended the Pecos Police Academy and served in
that position for two years.
"We were in charge of transporting prisoners to and from court,
typically for the BOP and Marshal's Service," he said. "The job
required mostly trips back and forth to El Paso, but the pay was good
and I liked my job."
"In 1991 a position opened up with the police department here in
town and I applied, beginning my career with the city. I started as a
patrolman, which I did for four years, then I moved up to sergeant for
another four years, lieutenant for two years and then I was promoted to
jail administrator, which I have been serving as for the past two
With 13 years serving with the police department and his time in the
Sheriff's office, Dawdy has seen changes in the city in the past 20
"I really like the town itself. It is sad that it is declining; we
just need our leaders to bring in industry and fix up the looks of the
town," he said. "I love living in a small town, people know each other
and will help if they think you might be in trouble."
Dawdy thoroughly enjoys working with the people in the police
"I don't think I have ever worked with a finer group of people.
Everyone here is dedicated to the job and I believe it is the staff
that really makes this facility run so well," he said. "Each employee
that has worked at the CJC since its beginning has contributed the
overwhelming success of it."
In his time on the force Dawdy has faced some pretty scary moments.
From opening doors on routine calls and having pistols pointed at my
face to a 1992 murder-suicide.
"One time we received a call to a house for a domestic disturbance,
and when we arrived, we observed a man lying in the garage shot, well I
charged into the house, to stop any more people from being shot. I
didn't think about, I just ran in," he said. "I thought about it later
and realized that I could have been killed if he had been waiting for
me, but he wasn't and I guess I lucked out."
"I owe my like many time over to my God and Savior keeping me alive
to fulfill his work he has for me on earth," Dawdy said. " I know that
the job I have is dangerous, as well as everybody that puts on a badge.
We know that this day could be our last. That is why this line of work
requires such a different kind of person. You never get off on holidays
or get to see your family as much as you should. I think that is why
there is such a high rate of divorce in law enforcement."
Museum seeking Christmas Tree program sponsors
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- Christmas has arrived at the West of
the Pecos Museum and 11 sponsors are needed for the 14th Annual
Christmas Tree Program.
These live Christmas Trees will be decorated by local students.
After the holidays the trees will be planted at the schools.
For more information contact the West of the Pecos Museum, 445-5076.
PECOS, Wed., Nov. 26, 2003 -- High Tuesday 74. Low this morning 46.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 35. West winds 10 to 15
mph. Thanksgiving day: Sunny: Cooler. Highs near 55. Northwinds 10 to
20 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 20s. Northeast
winds near 10 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s. Light
and variable winds. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 20s to
the lower 30s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 70. Saturday night:
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s to the lower 40s.
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