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Craig Peterson, executive administrator of the Texas Water Development
Board, briefed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday on a
proposal that recommends the Legislature approve certain transfers of
water from one region to another and create a statewide drought
``Water, more than any other natural resource, will determine Texas'
future in the decades to come,'' Peterson said. ``The era of plentiful
water when an area's needs could be readily met with development of new
supplies are past.''
Sen. J.E. ``Buster'' Brown, R-Lake Jackson, committee chairman, said he
would file a comprehensive bill as early as Wednesday addressing the
state's water needs.
Brown said his bill wouldn't alter the state's current ``right to
capture'' law, which basically says property owners can pump as much
water from their property as they want, regardless of how it affects
adjoining property owners.
He expects the bill to be hotly debated.
``Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,'' Brown said. ``Any
one of these issues that you take up with Texans being as diverse as
they are, there are going to be real strong feelings about leaving
things the way they are in some areas.
``I expect there will be a lot of excited discussion once we get
Interbasin transfers - the pumping of water from one region of the state
to another - is expected to be among the most contentious issues.
``Water is precious,'' said Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, whose
district includes reservoirs being sought for pumping by other regions
of the state.
``When one part of Texas is in trouble, the rest of Texas comes to
help,'' Barrientos said. ``But before we reach that point, individual
areas have to do their part in order to conserve and manage water to the
best of their ability.''
San Antonio is one city that has been criticized for not doing all it
can to take care of its own water needs. Residents of the city twice
have voted down referendums to construct a reservoir.
``San Antonio, as I've said for quite some time, does not have a good
history of taking care of its own water needs, and I'm the first to
admit that,'' said Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.
``But what hasn't been recognized is that San Antonio has undergone a
thorough reuse project, which along with conservation has gone a long
way toward providing for our own water needs. That's generally
unrecognized,'' he said.
Peterson said last year's drought, which forced local governments to
limit water use, showed why the Legislature needs to approve a statewide
``Without a statewide drought management plan, we have had to do it on
an ad hoc basis,'' Peterson said. ``We need to put it in statute and get
everyone thinking about good long-term water planning.''
Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
PECOS, January 22, 1997 - Federal court jurors on Tuesday deliberated
about 30 minutes before finding a Jamaican citizen guilty on two counts
related to the manufacture of marijuana.
Dalton Knight Wilson was charged with 1) possession of marijuana seeds
with intent to manufacture marijuana; 2) attempt to manufacture and
attempt to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.
Border Patrol agents at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint arrested Wilson
Nov. 11, 1996 after finding a baggie of marijuana, hundreds of marijuana
seeds and equipment for a marijuana grow lab in his rental truck.
They released Wilson's brother, Noel Charles Wilson, and Noel's
daughter, Imani Wilson, 3, after being assured they knew nothing about
the contents of the truck.
Wilson's attorney, Scott Segall of El Paso, sought to suppress evidence
found in the truck and statements Wilson made to agents admitting it was
his. Wilson claimed he used the grow lab for fruits and vegetables as
well as marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Senior Judge Lucius Bunton denied the motion to suppress after agents
testified they warned Wilson of his rights before questioning him. They
also denied threatening to charge his brother and place the girl in the
custody of state child protective services if Wilson did not confess.
Wilson claimed his brother agreed to help him move from California to
Carol City, Fla. The girl was turned over to her mother.
PECOS, January 22, 1997 - Local dairies are sitting out a national
strike today that calls for dumping up to a half million gallons of milk
in Texas alone.
"I haven't heard anything about a strike," said C.J. Kesey. "No, we
won't be participating today."
Trans-Pecos Dairy will not dump their milk today, nor any other day,
said a spokesman this morning. Owners Charlie and Greg Mitchell were not
available for comment.
Citing frustration over a steep drop in milk prices, other farmers in
Texas, alng with farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Pennsylvania,
New York, Missouri, California and New Mexico vowed to take part in
``We are sending a message to the government that we want the price
system thrown in the scrap heap,''said Clint Van Vleet, a Sulphur
Springs dairyman and president of the 250-member Texas Milk Producers
Association, a protest leader.
Van Vleet said he had received support from dairy operators throughout
Texas and that 250,000 to 500,000 gallons of milk would be dumped today.
``We aren't trying to punish the public,'' said Darin Von Rudin, a
Westby, Wis. dairy farmer. ``We are trying to send a message to milk
processors that we can't continue to live on what they pay us.''
But two organizations that represent thousands of farmers question
whether there is much public support for Von Rudin's proposed strike.
``Farmers remember negative backlash from milk dumpings and strikes in
the 1960s and 1970s,'' said Tom Thieding, spokesman for the Wisconsin
Farm Bureau Federation. ``They remember trucks being stopped at gunpoint
and all the ugly things that happened.''
The National Farmers Organization doesn't organize strikes unless it
feels there is sufficient support to make a difference, said Joe Paris,
NFO national dairy specialist.
``I don't feel as if there is large support in this case,'' Paris said.
The strike is meant to draw attention to plummeting milk prices that
farmers claim are putting them out of business.
``My milk will likely end up out in the fields,'' said Steven Siverling,
a Bloomer farmer. ``If some charity steps up and offers to process it
into dry milk or cheese to give to the poor, I'll probably send some
there too. But I think we have to make a statement.''
The price that farmers are paid for their milk has declined from more
than $15 per 100 pounds (about 12 gallons) in September to $11.30 per
100 pounds at the end of December.
Farmers, lawmakers and others blame the federal government's use of the
National Cheese Exchange in Green Bay to set milk prices.
They say that the small cheese market was manipulated by Kraft, the
nation's largest buyer of bulk cheese, to intentionally drive down
Kraft and the exchange have denied the allegations, and federal
investigators last summer said they found no proof of the allegations.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman supports ending the dependence
on the exchange to set milk prices as a short term solution to the
problem. He plans to issue options this spring to possibly replace the
current pricing system.
Angry farmers have closed their land to snowmobilers in some northern
Wisconsin counties and protested at the state Capitol.
Gov. Tommy Thompson, who created a task force to study the issue, said
it's a federal matter that requires a federal remedy. He plans to lead a
delegation of dairy farmers to Washington early next month to meet with
Farm bureau members told a hearing Tuesday of the state Senate
Agriculture Committee that regulating the National Cheese Exchange
should be left to the federal government.
The committee was considering a bill to regulate trading on the
``Farm bureau members recognize that this is a national issue that needs
to be addressed through federal order reform,'' said Kenosha, Wis.,
dairy farmer Dave Daniels. He is also chairman of the bureau's Dairy
A group of 23 of the nation's largest dairy cooperative, processors and
trade associations also said they opposed the bill because it would
impose buying and selling requirements on exchange traders that would be
difficult to meet.
The group includes the National Milk Producers Federation, Associated
Milk Producers Inc. and the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives.
Copyright 1997 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
PECOS, January 22, 1997 - Six Pecos junior high students were chosen for
the All-Region Band this past weekend.
The six, members of the Crockett Middle School eighth grade band,
traveled to Andrews this past weekend to audition for the Region 6
Junior High All-region Band.
"We had a really good amount of students traveling this year to
compete," said Crockett Middle School Band Director Mark Scott. A total
of 20 students from Crockett traveled to Andrews, and between 300 and
400 students from Pecos, Andrews, Fort Stockton and Big Spring
"That's a lot more students than participated last year," Scott said of
the 20 eighth grade participants.
Earning positions on the All-Region Band were, Ashley Salcido on flute;
Anna Lisa Carrasco and Precilla Levario on clarinet; Jacob Barrera on
alto saxophone; Rebecca McChesney on tenor saxophone; and Jack Armstrong
Named as an alternate to the band was Lorie Rayos on clarinet.
These students will return to Andrews on Feb. 28-March 1 to rehearse
with the band and present a concert.
"Congratulations to these students, as well as all those who auditioned
for the All-Region Band," said Scott.
Scott stated that he is very proud of all his students and said all were
"doing very well."
"They represented Crockett Middle School very well and we are proud of
their efforts," he said. "All of them have very good potential."
The group will also be traveling to a competition in Odessa on April 11.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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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