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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, March 5, 2004

School board election gets fifth candidate

A former Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board member has become the fifth person to file to run in the May 15 school board election.

David Flores, who lost in his bid for re-election last May, filed to run for a new three-year term, joining four others. Flores was first elected to the P-B-T ISD school board in 2000.

Former Pecos High School athletic director and baseball coach and P-B-T athletic director Bubba Williams filed for a position on the board a week ago, while the three incumbents whose terms are up entered the race at the start of the one-month filing period. The three-year terms currently held by Crissy Martinez, Lila Cerna, and Saul "Chip" Florez will be up for election and filed in mid-February to retain their seats on the board.

March 15 is the deadline to file for all local races, including the P-B-T and Balmorhea ISD board elections, the Reeves County Hospital District election, and city elections in Pecos, Balmorhea, Barstow and Toyah.

The P-B-T ISD administration building will be open next week while schools are closed for Spring Break if anybody wishes to pick up a packet to file for a position on the board. The office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1-5 p.m.

In the Town of Pecos City election, Mayor Dot Stafford has filed for re-election along with city council incumbents Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides. None of the three have challengers as of yet in the May election.

Benavides and Valenzuela currently are completing their first two-year terms on the council, while Stafford was returned to the mayoral position in 2002, after being defeated for re-election in 2000.

In the Reeves County Hospital District board election, two of the three incumbents have filed to retain their seats. Bill Wendt is seeking another two-year term as Precinct 3 representative on the board, after first being elected in 2002. He joins incumbent at-large member Leo Hung, who filed for a third two-year term.

The other seat up for election in May is in Precinct 1, a seat currently held by Chel Flores. He has held his seat for a decade, but is currently running in the Precinct 1 race for Reeves County Commissioner in the March 9 Democratic Party primary.

In the Barstow City elections the three incumbents have filed to retain their position. The three places to be filled are one full term for mayor, one for council and one unexpired term. Angel Abila filed for the positions of mayor, Robert Ortega for the full two-year term and Abram Flores for the one year unexpired term.

In the Balmorhea City elections three individuals are up for re-election, including the mayor's position. The positions are for two-year terms and those currently serving are mayor Ruben Fuentes and council members Eddie Roman and Rosendo Galindo.

Galindo is currently running for Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3.

Balmorhea School Board members up for re-election are Armando Mondragon and Paul Ward. As of early this afternoon nobody has filed for a position on the board, which is a three-year term.

County's early voting total nearing 2,000 on final day

Staff Writer

Today is the deadline for early voting for next Tuesday's primary elections, and 1,950 votes already had been received either in person or by mail going into the final day, according to Reeves County officials.

"We had 425 mail-ins and 1,525 vote early by personal appearance," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez. Today at 5 p.m. is the deadline for early voting in the primary election.

"They have until this afternoon to vote early, but if they don't they can vote at their polling place on Tuesday," Florez added.

Elections will be held Tuesday, March 9 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and all 11 polling places will be open at that time.

Two years ago, during the last major county elections, a total of 1,832 persons cast ballots early, either by personal appearance or by mail for entire early voting period in the 2002 primary races.

The early voting totals for Reeves County already have surpassed the total percentage turnout for next Tuesday's elections statewide. The early vote totals so far represent a little over a quarter of Reeves County's eligible voters. Overall in Texas, Secretary of State Geoff Connor estimates nearly 1.7 million people, or 14 percent of the state's registered voters, are expected to cast ballots in the primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides.

With no major statewide races on the primary ballot, and with both the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees all but settled, turnout across Texas will depend on the number of local races, and in Reeves County, a total of 20 candidates are featured in five contested local elections, all in the Democratic primary.

Five individuals are vying for the position of Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 including incumbent Felipe Arredondo, who is seeking a fourth term in office. The four challengers are: Rogelio "Roy" Alvarado, "Chel" Florez, Armando "Mondie" Granado and Robert C. Natividad.

In the race for Precinct 3 commissioner, two-term incumbent Herman Tarin opted not to run for another four-year term, and nine candidates are seeking to fill that position. They are Abel Baeza, Lisa Lopez Boicourt, Rosendo Galindo, Jimmy Gallego, Saul Herrera, Manuel "Manny" Lopez, Joel Madrid, Joseph Peter Rodriguez and Bailey Wheeless.

Precinct 3 voters will also be casting ballots in a contested race for constable, where Alma Fleenor is challenging incumbent Tomas "Tommy" Martinez. In the only county-wide local election that is contested, Jeffrey P. Baeza will challenge current Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez, who has been the sheriff for the past 11 years.

All county voters will also be deciding the nomination for 143rd District Attorney, along with voters from Ward and Loving counties. In that race, two-term incumbent Randall Reynolds faces former district attorney Hal Upchurch. Connor, the state's top election official, is projecting that 700,000 Republicans and 1 million Democrats will vote in their party primaries. Connor issued his projection this morning.

His estimates reflect an anticipated Republican primary turnout of just under 6 percent and a Democratic primary turnout of slightly more than 8 percent for a total turnout of 14 percent, Connor said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Candlelight vigil for Carrasco set for Sunday

Staff Writer

A candlelight vigil service for a missing teen from Balmorhea is scheduled this weekend in Pecos.

The candlelight vigil for Monica Carrasco will be held at 7 p.m., Sunday, at Maxey Park. Similar vigils have already been held in Alpine and Balmorhea, for the 16-year-old, who has been missing since October of last year.

Carrasco disappeared sometime between the late evening of Oct. 1 and the early morning of Oct. 2 from the home of family members she was staying with in Balmorhea. Searches were conducted without success in the days and weeks following her disappearance.

A new search using canines from the Houston area was canceled in mid-February due to sub-freezing temperatures and icy conditions, but Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said that they are trying to put another search effort together. "I'm still trying to get something together, so that we can go out again and do another search," said Gomez.

Carrasco was an Alpine High School Student and was living in Alpine until she became ill and was hospitalized and released. She was staying with her uncle and aunt recovering from an eating disorder, according to her mother Kathy Carrasco. The teen is described as 110 pounds, black hair with red streaks, brown eyes and 5-foot-5 in height. She has a small mole on her cheek and a chicken pox scar near her hairline on her forehead.

People are urged to call the Midland Crime Stoppers at 432-694-TIPS or 1-800-7-LOCKUP or any local law enforcement agency with any information that might be beneficial to the investigation.

Crime Stoppers would like to stress that callers will remain anonymous and that no caller ID is ever used on a call.

Individuals can also call the Reeves County Sheriff's Office at 432-445-4901 or the local Crime Stoppers, 432-445-9898.

Plate sale to help Warbirds boxers set for Saturday

A Brisket Plate Sale will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday at Saragosa Hall, corner of Sixth and Peach streets.

The public is welcome to pick up lunch at the hall or deliveries will be made on three or more plates. Plate will consist of brisket, potato salad and beans.

All proceeds will benefit the Pecos-Barstow Warbirds Boxing Club, which is in need to money to help fund trips for team members to out-of-town fights.

Orders can be called in to 445-5225 and cost will be $5 per plate.


Natividad Baeza

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