Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
September 18, 1995
Clouds give festival a break
By Rosie Flores
PECOS - Sept. 18, 1995 - Despite on-and-off rainy weather,
events went off as scheduled this past weekend for the
annual 16th of September Fiestas at the Santa Rosa Catholic
The rain, which began Wednesday in the area, stopped Friday
evening and on Saturday long enough for a large crowd to
attend the fiestas and enjoy the music provided at the
"Things wet really well," said Johnny Terrazas, a member of
the 16th of September Committee." We had a good crowd on
both Friday ad Saturday, with things tapering off on Sunday."
The queen coronation took place Saturday evening, with
Melissa Sotelo crowned Mexican Queen. Spanish Queen was
Luiselda Garcia, and Kathy Ybarra was named the American
Fiesta events got underway on Friday evening with Father
Antonio Mena giving the invocation and welcome.
D.J. music entertained fiesta goers until 7 p.m. when
Mariachi Los Galleros of Pecos performed on stage.
The first session of the talent show was held prior to that
with Santa Rosa Fiesta Dancers performing at 9 p.m. Mariachi
Galleros took over the stage and the second session of the
talent show commenced.
The talent show winners were announced Sunday evening. First
place went to Luiselda Garcia, second place winner was
Roxievette Mendoza and third place was awarded to Laura
A variety of talent was displayed this weekend and picking
the winners was a difficult decision, according to fiesta
A parade was held Saturday morning, with first place float
winner being Guadalupanas. Second place float was the
Folklorico Dancers, and KIUN radio took third place in the
In the car division of the parade trophies were awarded to
first place winner, Tino Acosta, with his classic Ford
Mustang. Second place went to Queen candidate Kathy Ybarra,
who rode on a convertible. Ybarra was later crowned American
Queen at Saturday night activities.
Food and game booths were open to the public with the booths
offering a variety of food items, toys, T-shirts, games and
Museum marks Hispanic Heritage
By Rosie Flores
PECOS - Sept. 19, 1995 - Hispanic Heritage Month will be
celebrated through Sept. 30 at the West of the Pecos Museum,
with special exhibits on display this month.
Colorful decorations throughout the museum will add a
festive atmosphere, and the Reeves County Mexican-American
Pioneer Family will be honored at a reception this Saturday
at 7 p.m.
The Natividad Families of Nicolas, Esteban, Telesforo and
Julia, all cousins, came to Reeves County in the late 1800s.
Descendants of these Reeves County pioneers will gather for
a reunion, reception and program, to be honored by the West
of the Pecos Museum and Friends of the Museum.
A photographic exhibit of the families will be on display in
the "Big Room," as well as paintings and other family
"The museum's main purpose is to collage and preserve our
local history," said museum curator Genora Prewit.
"The Hispanic Heritage program was started in 1986 and the
Pioneer Family program in 1989, for the purpose of
collecting the specific history of the Spanish and Mexican
pioneers who came to Reeves County long ago."
Last September's program was delayed, due to the $500,000
restoration of the 91-year-old main building and adjacent
By gathering information and different items on customs,
religion, pioneer families histories and other memorabilia,
the museum has begun to add to the collection.
"This special program is a time to recognize and to say
`Thank You' to these pioneers and their descendants for
their contribution to Reeves County, as well as an
invitation to become more interested in and involved with
the museum" said Prewit.
during the recent major restoration, 16 additional rooms on
the third floor of the old Orient Hotel were opened.
Although these exhibits are not quite complete (for lack of
glass cases), individuals may tour the combined 50 rooms of
the old saloon, which was built in 1896, and the Orient
Hotel which went up in 1904.
"You will discover how life was in a railroad and cowtown
dating back to the 1880s," said Prewit.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9-5, and Sunday
A small park that includes the Judge Roy Bean Replica, which
houses the museum book store and gift shop, the Gentleman
Gunfighter Clay Allison's grave and the museum's farm and
ranch exhibit, located across the street from the museum,
are all a part of the interesting exhibits available for
Judge dismisses sludge lawsuit
By Rosie Flores
AUSTIN - Sept. 20, 1995 - A district judge in Austin dealt
Reeves County a setback on Monday in its effort to keep
wastewater sludge from being spread onto farmland within the
Judge Peter Lowry, 261st State Judicial District in Austin,
granted Weldon Reed and Trans-Pecos farms the "green light"
to go ahead and bring sludge into Reeves County.
Lowry dismissed a lawsuit filed by the county in an effort
to protect public health by preventing sludge to enter the
The judge based his decision on the argument made by
Trans-Pecos Farms that the court lacks jurisdiction to
review the agency affecting Reeves County, because the
county did not file its petition within 30 days of the TNRCC
action approving the permit.
Reed had submitted applications in 1992 to apply sludge to
7,980 acres near Verhalen, about 20 miles south of Pecos.
The sludge will be tilled into the soil to utilize sludge
nutrients in the production of cotton and forage crops at
the rate of seven dry tons per acre.
A county spokesperson said officials haven't decided exactly
what will be done, but that it is possible Reeves County
will file an appeal of Lowery's decision.
"I'll do anything Dr. Bang decides he wants us to do," said
Reeves County Attorney Bill Weinacht. Bang had said the
dried sludge could be the source for airborne contaminants
during the area's wind spring and fall seasons.
Weinacht also stated that Reeves County has their own
attorneys working on this case.
Reed and Trans-Pecos Farms filed a motion for summary
judgment in July on the County's suit against the group and
Anthony Grigsby, TNRCC chairman when the permits were
approved. The county then filed a response to Reed's motion.
Reeves County challenged the validity of the "sludge
disposal" rules of Texas Natural Resources Commission and
contended that even if they were valid, a registration
purportedly issued under those rules is invalid.
A factual overview of the situation showed that on March 1,
1992, the Texas Water Commission acquired jurisdiction from
the Texas Department of Health to issue state authorization
for sewage sludge disposal.
On March 15, 1992, Weldon Reed Inc., the
predecessor-in-interest of Trans-Pecos Farms Inc., applied
to the West Texas Water Commission for authorization to
dispose of municipal sewage sludge from New York State on
various tracts of land in Reeves County.
Study sought on neighborhood schools
By Mari Maldonado
PECOS - Sept. 20, 1995 - No action is immediately planned,
but one thing's for sure -- almost all school board members
agree that an in-depth study into changing the current
system back to neighborhood schools is needed.
The issue was brought up after Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school
board member Frank Perea asked that the subject be scheduled
for discussion at the next board meeting. Perea made the
request during last Thursday's board meeting.
He said that his primary reason for wanting to go back to
neighborhood schools is, "the geographical location of the
campuses is a big burden for parents."
"It makes no sense," Perea said, referring either to the
longer distances that some parents have to drive to get
their students to school when there are campuses near their
homes or the amount of time children have to spend on school
buses in various weather conditions.
"It was necessary at the time, to accomplish full
integration," said Perea, who served on the P-B-T ISD board
when the system was inaugurated in 1988, along with current
board members Hugh Box ad Earl Bates.
Perea said former Supt. H.L. RAmsey told the board that by
consolidating, the district would need fewer teachers.
"We agreed," said Perea of the board's 1988 vote, but added,
"It wasn't a popular decision."
True to that, Bates said this morning that he voted against
the motion at that time.
"I was against changing it in the beginning," he said,
adding, "as long as it will work, I'm for going back" to
"However, there are a lot of things we need to look at,"
before going back, Bates said,
In agreement, Box recalled that Region 18 Service Center
Director Vernon Stokes advised the district to enlist a
college student to perform a study on the current,
integrated school system. However, Box said the district was
unable to obtain a college student willing to perform the
study at the time.
"I think we need to keep it the way it is until we can run
the study," said Box, who explained that the study would
consist of monitoring the discipline and test score factors.
"If (the study shows that) it's better to go back to the way
it was, then we should do it," he said.
Box, who voted for consolidation, said he had done so
because he thought it would strengthen the school system by
keeping students with their classmates throughout their
grade school years, increase test scores, unite the town and
increase athletic participation.
"That's why I'm for waiting on the study," he said, to see
if these goals were accomplished.
Board President Linda Gholson said Supt. Mario Sotelo has
been looking for several months for someone to conduct the
study, and that a college professor from the Odessa area has
"I think, as with any subject like this, we have to review
all avenues before we can make the best decision," Gholson
said, adding she also prefers delaying any decision until
the study is completed and, "the financial feasibility" is
Box said one concern in going back to the old system would
be the increase in student population at Austin Elementary
combined with a decrease in Pecos Elementary's enrollment.
"I don't know what we could do there," he said.
Perea stated that consolidation was also proposed in the
late 1980s because of the 100 percent minority population at
Bessie Haynes at the time.
He said the district's enrollment has decreased and perhaps
consolidation is no longer needed.
The integration factor is hardly a valid reason anymore
because of the small percentage of the Anglo population in
Pecos, said Perea.
"In 1973, during the first of his three stints on the school
board, Perea said, "there were over 4,000 students and only
This year, "there has been a tremendous reduction of almost
25 percent, and yet we're operating with nine campuses," he
said. "Where does that tie in with consolidation?"
Perea stated that possibly closing some campuses would be a
School board member Albert Alvarez agreed with Perea's
"I have always maintained that our district has too many
campuses," said Alvarez, "and it's definitely something we
need to look at.
"Maybe we can shut down some of the campuses, or maybe use
them for training purposes," to reduce idle maintenance
costs, said Perea.
"I would hope that if we go back to neighborhood schools, we
could do it with fewer campuses," he added.
Perea said that going back to neighborhood schools, where
grades 1-6 will be taught in one campus, along with putting
both seventh and eighth grade students at Crockett and
Zavala Middle Schools, would also clear matters as far as
He said that way, if there is a problem with any one class
of students, the district can automatically detect where the
problem is and "focus and concentrate on that campus."
If a problem is noted, for instance, he said in Pecos
Elementary students, the district doesn't have to look at
the "feeder" campus, or Austin Elementary. "They can work
directly with Pecos Elementary."
On the same note, if students are doing notably well on one
campus, that campus will receive full credit and not share
it with the feeding campus.
"This way I feel we'll have better accountability. But
what's really important are the kids," Perea added. "They
won't have to be dropped off earlier at bus stops (and) they
could eat breakfast at home."
He noted that he hasn't looked at any figures yet and cannot
comment on whether or not this move would be economically
feasible, but it would eliminate shuttle bus expenses for
Chamber seeks to control civic center
By Rosie Flores
PECOS - Sept. 21, 1995 - After a lengthy discussion
Wednesday evening, the Pecos Chamber of Commerce's executive
committee agreed to go forward with plans to operate the
Reeves County Civic Center.
"We're going forward with it," said Chamber of Commerce
Manager Tom Rivera. "Once we have a contract with the
county, we'll put together a presentation to present to the
Reeves County cut much of its funding for the Civic Center
and West of the Pecos Rodeo grounds in its fiscal 1996
budget, due to a deficit put at nearly $1 million by Reeves
County Judge Jimmy Galindo.
The county has budgeted $5,000 for use in the efforts to
keep the center open and chamber members will be asking the
city for the same amount.
"What we're wanting is for the city and county to have an
equal share in supporting this effort to continue the
operation of the facility with the chamber being the
manager," said Rivera.
"The financing will be considerably less than it was before
for the county and can be operated mainly through the bed
tax," he said.
User fees would be utilized in keeping the facility clean
and in good order, he added.
"I think we can make this work," said Rivera. "With all of
us pulling together we can make it work."
Renovation funds, which might include construction of a new
chamber office adjacent to the Civic Center, would come out
of the bed tax money.
"It'll be awhile before the chamber office is moved out
there, if ever, and it also depends on the presentation and
how well it comes along," said Rivera.
Carpenter's world tour stops in Pecos
By Peggy McCracken
PECOS - Sept. 21, 1995 - Marj Carpenter hasn't changed since
she went to work for the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.,
but the church has.
That is a quote by Carpenter's son, Jim Bob, in an interview
with the Atlanta Constitution.
Carpenter lived in Atlanta 10 years when she was manager of
news services for the denomination that elected her
moderator of the General Assembly in June -- the church's
With missions on her mind, Carpenter raised private funds
when she was news director and set out to visit every
country where Presbyterians are active. She has been to 104
so far, with seven to go.
Now she has so many invitations to tell the story of
missions to local congregations -- 1,700 so far -- she is
busier than ever.
"I am officially retired," she said. "I am not in a paid
position, but I'm busier than I have ever been. I only get
home one or two days a month. I live in airports because
there is such a demand for the moderator and mission
That demand brought Carpenter Wednesday to First
Presbyterian Church in Pecos where she taught Sunday school,
directed choirs and filled numerous positions while working
as a reporter for the Pecos Independent during the 50s and
She autographed copies of her book, "To the Ends of the
Earth, Stories from Around the World," in an informal visit
with members before a salad supper and her report on
Carpenter said that Presbyterians have opened more mission
fields than any other denomination -- "and we don't have the
slightest idea we have done it."
"We have done the best job taking the Gospel to all nations
ad the worst job of telling the world than any denomination
I know," she said.
But there is still much to be done, she said, pointing to
Siberia, where a radio program in the Eskimo language is
broadcast by Presbyterians in Barrow, Alaska.
"When they went across the Being Sea to Siberia, the
Siberian Eskimos sang "Jesus loves me, this I know," which
they had heard on the radio, she said.
"One Siberian stepped forward and asked, `Have you come to
tell us who is this Jesus that loved us?'" Carpenter said.
"Thats 28 miles from the United States."
Some say now is not a good time to do missions, she said.
But she wondered when a good time is, enumerating times from
the past that were "not a good time" to start missions:
During the Civil War in 1864 when three missionaries were
sent to Cameroon and one to Brazil; in the 1920
"bootlegging" days; the 1930s Great Depression; World War II
in the 40s; the Korean conflict in the 50s; Vietnam in the
"So when is a good time?" she asked.
Texas was once a foreign mission field, she said, quoting
from minutes of 1847: "We must go far to the west with our
missions; even on to Texas."
City accepts school's tax offer
By Mari Maldonando
PECOS - Sept. 22, 1995 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board
of education voted unanimously to propose a bid to the Town
of Pecos City for tax collection services.
Board members, along with Mayor Dot Stafford, finance
director Steve McCormick and council member Elvia Reynolds,
held a special meeting Thursday evening at the district
board room to discuss and approve a bid to offer the city
for collecting its taxes.
P-B-T ISD Supt. Mario Sotelo and tax assessor-=collector
Lydia Prieto presented the board with two possible bids, the
first of which was presented to the council this morning. It
involved the usage of their current collection system,
Thompson Data Systems, for $33,800. If approved the school
district will have to incorporate the city's 6,000-plus
parcels into their working managing data system.
The city had been paying the county $28,000 for its
collection services, but opted to accept an offer from the
school district after Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo
raised the fee 10 percent, bringing the total charge to
County will appeal court's sludge ruling
By Rosie Flores
PECOS - Sept. 25, 1995 - Reeves County Commissioners agreed
to pursue litigation and will ask the Texas Court of Appeals
to reverse a lower court ruling last week regarding the
disposal of sludge in Reeves County.
"Our suit has been dismissed and since the last meeting I
haven't received any new information which changes my
opinion regarding sludge," said Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr.
W.J. Bang during this morning's portion of their meeting.
Judge Peter Lowry of the 261st Judicial District in Austin
granted Weldon Reed and Trans-Pecos Farms approval to apply
sludge onto several parcels of land near Verhalen, after
dismissing a lawsuit filed by Reeves County.
"No new information has been released which tells us that
sludge is safe," said Bang, who is also a physician in Pecos
and a public health officer for Reeves County.
"I feel strongly that we should fight against sludge in our
county and my recommendation is to take legal steps to
continue our fight in Austin," Bang said.
Reeves County Attorney Bill Weinacht said that Bang had
discussed this issue in length with him last week after the
Sept. 18 ruling and agreed to continue with litigation.
"Our attorneys have recommended that we file an appeal and
stated that we have an excellent chance of winning," said
Weinacht. "Since they're alreandy working on it, it's
Weinacht also stated that some of the individuals who were
involved in the sludge issue at the beginning are no longer
a part of the proceedings.
"Some of the people who were initially involved, who claimed
they would sell their land for sludge usage, are no longer
involved. They are now farming their land, making it
productive and putting it to better use," he said.
Originally 8,000 acres were sectioned off to be used for
wastewater sludge disposal. However, current affidavits
indicate that only 2,000 acres are currently destined for
"We're dealing with a much smaller portion of land," said
Those designating their land for sludge use are Beverly and
Kenneth Lindemann, Jeff Lindemann and Paul Condit.
"They claim sludge will be beneficial to the land, which is
not being used for farming right now, but haven't provided
facts detailing that," said County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
"The facts have never been applied in this suit," said
Weinacht. "The judge threw it out because of time element
and nothing else."
Under TNRCC rules, sludge can only be applied to property by
the landowner, and Weldon Reed did not own the land at the
time the appeal was filed.
Mac McKinnon, 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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