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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, December 29, 2003

Commissioners races set to get more candidates

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 29, 2003 -- With four days left before the deadline, the number of individuals planning to run for one of the two available Reeves County Commissioner positions continues to increase.

Three individuals have filed their treasurer's designation as the first step in vying for a position in the elections. In order to officially enter the race, the candidates must file with the county party chairmen by this Friday, Jan. 2.

Two of the three filing with Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez are planning to run for the open commissioner's seat in Precinct 3, while the other plans to run for the Precinct 1 seat on the Commissioner's Court.

Rojelio "Roy" V. Alvarado filed for Precinct 1 commissioner and named himself as treasurer. Joseph "Peter" Rodriguez filed for Precinct 3 Commissioner and named Nancy Ontiveros as treasurer and Saul Herrera also filed with Florez for the Precinct 3 seat and named himself as treasurer.

Current Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin announced last week he would not seek a fourth term in office, after originally deciding to enter his name into the March Democratic primary election race.

Tarin's withdrawal was not announced Tuesday by Reeves County Democratic Party chairman Robert C. Dean. All candidates so far in local races have filed to run on the Democratic Party line.

Lisa Lopez Boicourt, Rosendo C. Galindo, and Bailey Wheeless, have already filed with Dean for the four-term term as commissioner precinct 3. A fourth candidate, Manuel "Manny" D. Lopez, has filed his treasurer's designation with the Reeves County Clerk's office, but along with Rodriguez and Flores has yet filed his petition or paid a filing fee to Dean. A seventh possible candidate, Joel Madrid, said he also plans to enter the race before the deadline a week from today.

Alvarado would be seeking the seat currently held by Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo if he files with Dean before Friday. As of today, only Arredondo and Robert C. Natividad are officially in the race. The two others, Armando "Mondie" Granado and Elizer "Chel" Flores have filed their treasurer's designations to run for the Precinct 1 seat.

Both commissioners figured to face challenges in their re-election bids due to problems over the last six months surrounding the $40 million Reeves County Detention Center III project. The 960-bed addition to the prison was completed in March, but the county was unable to get the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to provide inmates for the facility, as they had with the RCDC I and II units, and County Judge Jimmy Galindo was unable to find an alternate source of inmates for the prison.

With no income from housing inmates to meet the facility's bond payments, Reeves County was forced to contract with Wackenhut Correctional Corp., now GEO Corp., to manage the facility and to help the county find inmates for RCDC III. As part of the agreement with GEO, the county was forced to cut 31 jobs at the prison.

Among the official and possible challengers for the Precinct 3 seat, Galindo is a member of the Balmorhea City Council, having last been elected in May of 2002, while Wheeless is a retired Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD teacher and was the longtime agriculture instructor at Pecos High School. Madrid is the owner of both The Bear's Den in Balmorhea and Dairy Mart in Pecos.

Outside of the two races for commissioner, only incumbents have filed for the other Reeves County primary election races.

In the other local races, the incumbents who have officially filed with Dean include: for Reeves County Sheriff, Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez; Tax Assessor-Collector, Elfida Zuniga; for constable, precinct #2 Jerry Matta and for constable, precinct #3, Tomas "Tommy" Martinez.

One other incumbent, Heriberto "Eddy" Rodriguez has filed his campaign treasurer's designation to retain the Precinct 4 constable's seat.

Along with the county positions, other local offices that will be up for election on March 9, are Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District Attorney and 143rd District Court Judge.

Judge Bob Parks filed in Austin to retain his position as 143rd District Court Judge, while former 143rd District Attorney Hal Upchurch announced in November he planned to run for that seat again, after a 12-year absence. Pecos attorney Randall W. Reynolds currently holds the position, and was first elected too office in 1996.

Upchurch has already filed in Austin for the District Attorney's position. He had stated that he would keep his office in Monahans if elected to the post.

The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves, Ward and Loving Counties.

Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.

Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March began on Dec. 3 and will continue through Friday.

Lack of sales shuts Pecos' McDonald's

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 29, 2003 -- The El Paso owner of Pecos' McDonald's Restaurant shut the doors on the business on Sunday, six years after taking over the local franchise from its original owner.

Owner Richard Castro said early this afternoon that the Pecos McDonald's, 1501 S. Cedar, was shut down on Sunday, due to lack of volume (sales).

"It's unfortunate that we had to take that final step, but I've been carrying that restaurant for the past number of years," said Castro, who owns a number of McDonald's franchises in the El Paso area and in other parts of the Permian Basin.

Castro said that they had tried all kinds of marketing techniques and tried to get it to where it had to be.

"We tried all kinds of marketing strategies, but it got to the point that had to close," said Castro, who took over the Pecos fast food restaurant in 1997 after it opened in the early 1990's.

The volume never got to where it was expected to be, according to Castro.

"We don't plan to open it back up anytime soon, but the building will be up for sale," said Castro.

Castro said that he would be closing another McDonald's, located on Rankin Highway off Interstate 20 in Midland, that is an even newer facility than the one in Pecos. "This is for the same reason as well, the volume was just not where it should be," said Castro. "And by volume, I mean sales," he said.

The group will move the playground equipment to another of their restaurants or donate it to a non-profit organization. "I don't know yet exactly what we're going to do with it," he said.

"I'd like to thank the community of Pecos for all their support and the way they treated us every time we went to visit," said Castro. "Every time I went out there I really enjoyed it and enjoyed visiting with the customers and the community."

"You'll be missed and it's just unfortunate of the decision that had to be made," said Castro. "I'll miss everyone out there and hope to someday see them again," he said.

Houston area woman killed in Sunday crash

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 29, 2003 -- A woman from the Houston area was killed and her husband critically injured Sunday morning, in a one-vehicle rollover on Interstate 20 just east of Pyote.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety report, Esperanza Desilva, 58, of Pearland, was killed when the 1998 Ford Explorer she was driving left the road and rolled over 2 1/4 times while eastbound on I-20 between Pyote and the I-20 rest area just east of town at 10:42 a.m.

DPS Trooper Christopher Lee Ryan, who investigated the accident, said Desilva's SUV drifted off the right side of I-20 and traveled 600 feet, at which time the driver overcorrected to the left. The Explorer then entered the roadway and Desilva overcorrected to the right, causing the SUV to enter a barrow ditch on the south side of the Interstate and overturn.

Desilva, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:30 a.m. by Ward County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Pascual Olibas. Her husband, identified as Noberto Desilva, 56, of Pearland, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.

Esperanza Desilva's body was taken to Heritage Funeral Home in Monahans. Noberto Desilva, a Federal Aviation Administration supervisor, suffered spinal cord fractures when he was ejected from the vehicle. He was transported by ambulance to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, where he is listed in critical condition.

The accident was the only traffic fatality reported in the Trans-Pecos area over the Christmas holiday weekend.

Year In Review

Major drug busts opened area's New Year in 2003

EDITOR'S NOTE: With the end of 2003 this week, the Enterprise will be running a series of stories recapping the area's top stories over the past year. Today's story covers the month of January.

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 2, 2003 A passenger in an SUV on Interstate 20 became Reeves County's first traffic fatality of 2003 late this morning, when the vehicle rolled over while eastbound on the highway near Toyah.

PECOS, Mon., Jan. 6, 2002 It took a couple of days to finally arrive, but Pecos' 2003 New Year's Baby made its appearance over the weekend at Reeves County Hospital.

Adriana Vasquez gave birth to Ethan Michael Vasquez, an eight pound, 1.8 ounces baby boy at 7:46 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4, at the hospital. "I didn't expect him so soon and I certainly didn't think he was going to be the New Year's baby," said his mother, who was due on Jan. 10.

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 8, 2002 A Pecos man is being held without bond in a Brewster County Detention Center after having been charged with the attempted distribution of nearly 11/2 tons of marijuana, part of a three-ton seizure in the Big Bend National Park area over the weekend

Jaime Fuentes Cazares was arrested on January 3, after a Big Bend National Park Ranger made a routine stop, according to a press release sent out Monday afternoon by the U.S. Border Patrol office in Marfa.

PECOS, Thurs., Jan. 9, 2002 An Odessa man was killed and three others injured during a pressure incident at a gas plant located in Coyanosa Wednesday evening.

Killed in the incident was Victor Najera, 48, of Odessa, who was employed with the Schlumberger Corp., which is the world's largest oilfield service company. Three others were transported to the Pecos County Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released.

PECOS, Fri., Jan. 17, 2002 There was more in the engine of a truck traveling through Reeves County than just automobile parts, local drug task force officers discovered on Wednesday, when they seized over $200,000 in cocaine after a traffic stop five miles east of Toyah.

Approximately 5.4 pounds of cocaine was discovered concealed in the engine block of the GMC, which had a street value of about $220,500. Arrested was the driver of the vehicle, Louis Perez, 30, of Glendale, Ariz.

PECOS, Fri., Jan. 17, 2002 A Pecos man washing dishes while preparing to go to work got an unexpected visitor this morning, and his family members were jolted out of their beds when a car crashed through the living room of their home at Plum and Jackson streets.

The incident occurred about 3:50 a.m. when the Chevrolet Lumina jumped the curb and sidewalk in front of the home of Guillermo and Irene Valle at 1418 S. Plum St., and managed to make it's way between two trees and past a third to crash through the brick wall of the family's living room before coming to a stop. Fire and Emergency Medical Service personnel were called to the scene, but none of the occupants of the car requested treatment, and no one in the home was injured.

PECOS, Mon., Jan. 20, 2003 - A former Little Miss Cantaloupe saw her animals take home ribbons of their own this weekend at the Annual Reeves-Loving County Stock Show, held at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Marissa Tarango, who was Little Miss Cantaloupe in 2000, won Reserve Breed Champion, Reserve Grand Champion Lamb and the Jr. Showmanship award during Friday evening's lamb show. On Saturday, Tarango won Reserve Grand Champion Hog with her Duroc Hog during the Hog portion of the show, after winning grand champion for the breed earlier in the morning.

On Friday evening, Adrienne Bagley won Breed Champion and Grand Champion Lamb, along with Grand Champion Goat. On Saturday Jack Stickels won Grand Champion Hog, with his crossbreed, and also won Breed Champion in the Cross division and the OPB dark competition.

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 22, 2003 - The Pecos Economic Development Corporation's board of directors discussed plans for the grand opening of the Leche Farms Dairy in March, and discussed attracting other agriculture-related businesses to the area this morning, during the board meeting on the second floor of the Security State Bank building.

Board members also went over the PEDC's current financial statement and the corporation's marketing strategy with President Gari Ward during the 45-minute meeting, and were briefed by Ward on a possible new use for the idle automobile test track east of Pecos.

PECOS, Tue., Jan. 28, 2003 - Reeves County Commissioners approved a resolution in favor of giving TransPecos Foods a $500,000 loan out of the county's Revolving Loan Fund, during their meeting Monday at the Reeves County Courthouse.

The resolution is a follow-up to action taken by commissioners in late November. At that time, they granted the company the loan for a 10-year period at three percent interest, and also granted the maximum tax abatement for the same 10-year period.

Company officials were seeking the tax abatement to help TransPecos Foods with any future expansion. The conditions under which a business can get the maximum tax abatement include that the company implement the creation of 15 jobs and investment of over $100,000.

Report Card date for P-B-T students next Wednesday

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 29, 2003 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students will be receiving their report cards for the third six weeks grading period on Wednesday, Jan. 7, two days after classes resume for the spring semester.

P-B-T students ended the third six-weeks grading period on Dec. 18. Local schools are currently in their second week of spring break.


PECOS, Mon., Dec. 29, 2003 -- High Sunday 53. Low this morning 22. Forecast for tTonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 25. South winds near 10 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 65. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Lows near 30. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Lows near 40. New Years Day: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Highs in the mid 60s to the lower 70s. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40.


Jose L. Beltran, Maria, Hernandez, W.E. Lindsey, Diane Mendoza and Hipolito Vasquez, Jr.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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