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Thursday, January 23, 1997

City moves to change propane tank law

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 23, 1997 - Pecos City Council passed on first reading
this morning an ordinance amendment allowing liquefied petroleum gas
tanks to be installed above ground within the city limits.

They tabled a recommendation from the planning and zoning commission to
rezone parts of the Parker Heights Addition and a request to lease a
city-owned service station on U.S. Highway 285.

Restrictions on LPG tank installation in the proposed ordinance include
placing them outside of buildings above ground. Tanks up to 500 gallons
capacity must be at least 25 feet from the nearest building or group of
buildings or the nearest railroad or public right-of-way.

For tanks from 501 through 3,000 gallons, the distance is 75 feet.
Maximum size containers is 3,000 gallons.

Residential use of LPG for utilities is prohibited where natural gas is
available. Maximum tank size is 1,200 gallons, and it must be placed at
least 50 feet from the nearest building. Tanks less than 500 gallons
must be 25 feet from the nearest building or right-of-way.

No bottle filling plants or service station installations shall be
permitted within residential areas.

Mobile homes which use LPG shall comply with the standards established
for use within residential districts, unless the container which
services the mobile home can be classified as portable.

No person shall install or maintain any LPG container or operate any
tank vehicle to transport LPG without a permit.

If the ordinance is passed on second reading Feb. 13, the penalty for
violation will be a Class C misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $500 each
day the violation continues.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said he modeled the ordinance after one in
effect for Kermit.

"The real significant part is that, if natural gas is available, either
to commercial or residential customers, they are required to use natural
gas for utilities," Johnson said.

Winkles Trucking, who requested the change, and Flying J Travel Plaza
could install LPG tanks under the ordinance, he said.

Danny Rodriguez asked how the ordinance would affect areas outside the
city limits where propane is in use if they are annexed into the city.

"It would depend if they had natural gas available," Johnson said. "And
there's a grandfather clause - we can't make it illegal if it is legal

City fire marshal Jack Brookshire said that propane is a lot more
expensive than natural gas, so most residents probably would prefer
natural gas if it is available.

One area that does not have natural gas is Rancho Street on the east
edge of the city, Brookshire said, "so there are a few propane tanks."

Brookshire said he doesn't expect to have any problems with the
ordinance, and emergency management coordinator Armando Gil said he
approves it.

Mayor Dot Stafford said the zoning matter would have to be tabled until
the council can advertise for and hold a public hearing.

Johnson said he will be out of town on Feb. 13, and suggested the public
hearing be set for Feb. 27.

"I told the lawyers for La Tienda, and they are doing research with the
Alcoholic Beverage Commission," he said. "They have no problem with

Dr. Elvia Reynolds said the council needs a map of the area in question
(La Tienda and Pecos Autoplex), showing where the lots are in relation
to the lots around them.

Johnson suggested they be provided with a color-coded map showing the
current zoning.

Randy Reynolds said the council also needs a clearer understanding of a
recent court case involving the lots.

Furr's Supermarkets sought an exception to the C-1 zoning ordinance
allowing beer and wine sales in the location now owned by La Tienda. The
zoning board of adjustments granted the exception, but it was overturned
on appeal.

"That was a special exception as opposed to a change of zoning," Johnson
said. "The court held that the board of adjustments didn't have the
authority to grant that exception. The alternative is to ask for a
complete change of zone.

Some legal action may follow any decision the council makes, he said.

"I think it probably would be considered spot zoning, which is a change
of a narrow area. But all spot zoning is not illegal if a public need is
there," he said.

Johnson said he will brief the council on the factors they need to
consider before making a decision.

Dan Painter's quarterly report showed finances in order. However, Dr.
Reynolds noted that some departments are close to spending all their
budget at the end of the first quarter.

Gil said that expenses to operate a Type IV landfill are being charged
against the health department's budget.

He said that fuel for landfill equipment, a dozier to cover up the
trench, operating two pickup trucks and repair of a compactor were
charged to the health department, "which I didn't propose."

"I'm way over the halfway mark," he said.

That budget also shows $2,000 in overtime, when only $1,500 was
budgeted. Gil said some of that is for the animal control officer.

"It is hard to operate without overtime," Gil said, "especially when
people are on call and have to go out at night and on weekends."

Stafford said she thought city policy was to allow employees to take
time off as compensation instead of being paid overtime.

"I think the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn't allow for it," said
Finance Office Steve McCormick.

Johnson said he would check the law and report back.

As to lease of the old station, as requested by Steve Cox, Johnson
suggested waiting until the next meeting to give anyone else who may be
interested the chance to submit a proposal.

"We have rented it before, and nobody paid us," said interim city
manager Harry Nagel.

Following an executive session to review Brookshire's performance as
fire marshal, the council awarded him a 3 percent merit raise.

Barstow putting leash on pooch problem

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 23, 1997 - Gradually, Barstow residents are beginning to
enjoy a stray-free community.

One city resident, who asked not to be identified, said, "we can see a
difference already," in the number of animals roaming free through town.

The Barstow City Council voted to hire Pablo Navarrete, also a Barstow
resident, to pick up stray animals for the small community once a week.

The council agreed to pay his salary and mileage. Previously, Barstow
had contracted with the Town of Pecos City last fall to help with what
residents described as a growing problem with stray dogs.

The city of Barstow continues to pay a $10 fee per dog to Pecos for
housing and meals for three days for the animal, along with
euthanization, according to Health and Sanitation Director Armando Gil.

The Barstow representative said that Navarrete works on Saturdays and
seems to be, "gradually getting it (stray situation) under control."

Once the situation is controlled, Navarrete will patrol on a monthly
basis, said the Barstow resident, who added that he's been advising
Barstow pet owners to vaccinate their dogs, keep a collar and tag on
them and detain them to their yards.

"He's been bringing between three to six dogs," a week, said Gil.

The health and sanitation director said Pecos' Animal Control Officer,
Carmen Mendoza, is not getting compensated for the additional
euthanizations and animal care she is having to perform. "It's all in
her pay," he said.

He added that he feels the situation is working and, "is a benefit to
the citizens of Barstow."

"Hopefully we'll keep it (stray situation) under control until they can
hire someone," to catch stray animals and keep them in Barstow's own
facility, funds for which he said are scheduled to be in next year's
Ward County budget.

"Everything's going okay," said Mendoza about having to tend to more
animals, but admits the increase in euthanizations, "is a little hard
for me."

Sierra Blanca's dump case split from N-plants

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Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN - The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has ruled
that a state agency hoping to operate a radioactive waste dump in West
Texas may defend its case separately from its supporters.

The decision Wednesday was a victory for the Texas Low-Level Radioactive
Waste Disposal Authority, which is petitioning for a license to operate
a dump outside Sierra Blanca, 120 miles southwest of Pecos.

A panel of administrative law judges in October grouped the authority,
for purposes of hearings on the proposed dump's licensing, with the
South Texas Nuclear Plant and other supporters of the project.

Licensing of the proposed dump is now before the state Office of
Administrative Hearing. No hearing date has been.

The disposal authority argued that it wouldn't be able to adequately
present its case if it were lumped with other interests, including
nuclear plants.

Doug Caroom, a lawyer representing the authority, said he was pleased
with the TNRCC ruling.

``That makes a big difference in our ability to present our case,'' he

Opponents of the dump said they were disappointed by the decision but
look forward to having their say before the Office of Administrative

``In a perfect world, I guess we would have liked them to rule the other
way,'' said Presidio County Judge Jake Brisbin. ``But to me, I could
definitely see the validity of the low-level waste site's argument and,
you know, you can't win everything.

``We've got a shot, and I'll settle for a shot.''

Opponents, including some who are waging their fight with meager
financial backing, said allowing the well-backed disposal authority to
argue its case separately will make their effort more difficult.

``I think it's a terrible abuse of this whole system,'' said Erin
Rogers, chairwoman of the Sierra Blanca Legal Defense Fund board.

The TNRCC also determined Wednesday that all remaining parties or groups
in the matter - six dump supporters, 21 opponents and one neutral party
- may argue their cases. There originally were 580 objections to the
license application.

``I am pleased that the Commission decided we as a government entity
have a valid interest here,'' Brisbin said.

``It's been my belief that the strength is in the governmental
entities,'' said Brisbin. ``We are elected by our people to lead them.
My feeling is that we're in it for the long haul. Win, lose or draw,
we'll stick this out.''

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Police await 9-1-1 computer installation

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 23, 1997 - After waiting patiently for almost six months,
the Pecos Police Department is undergoing some renovations and
anticipating the installation of a mapping computer for the area's 9-1-1
phone system.

Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said the changes come at no cost to
taxpayers, except for the phone fee that will be paid to GTE after the
computer is installed.

Funds for the renovations, Moore said, are coming from the Permian Basin
Regional Planning Commission, which approved the purchase of the
equipment last year. But until less than a month ago, the PBRPC didn't
have the funds to install some of the systems, including the one for

"It's just a normal course of events," he added.

"What it (the equipment) is, is a mapping computer," Moore said,
explaining that anytime someone calls 9-1-1 and does not, or is unable
to advise the dispatcher of where the call originated, the computer
comes into play.

The current 9-1-1 system, "is working good," said Moore, but the
technology enhancement is welcomed.

Moore said Pecos received the equipment in mid-1996, and since December,
the Police Department's Oak Street office has been undergoing some
renovations to the dispatch area to accommodate the new computer.

"We anticipate carpet," will be installed sometime this month, the chief
said, and the computer will be put in shortly thereafter.

"It's just one of those things," said the police chief, "we have to get
everything ready."

Once installed, service for use of the computer will be contracted out
to GTE, explained Moore.

Border security tightened near El Paso

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Associated Press Writer

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Recalling the time he had to track a thief into
Mexico to recover a stolen motorcycle, Roman Munoz agrees the increasing
U.S. Border Patrol presence here is probably a good idea.

Then he considers the people he knows cross the nearby border in hopes
of finding a better life in the United States, and he wavers.

``If it makes things better, it's all right,'' Munoz finally concluded
Wednesday. ``You see people who are looking for help. But there are a
lot of people who come to commit crimes as well.''

Munoz's lukewarm endorsement probably typifies the way many residents
feel about stepped-up enforcement efforts in Sunland Park, a southern
New Mexico town just across the state line from El Paso, Texas, and
across the international boundary from the suburbs of Ciudad Juarez,

The Border Patrol has been fortifying the desert area in recent years to
stem a growing tide of illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

This week, agency officials said they will extend a 20-mile border
blockade from El Paso to Sunland Park. The blockade is made up of agents
lining the border to deter illegal crossings.

This comes even as the Border Patrol moves to complete a 1.3-mile steel
fence that will cut off easy access between Sunland Park and the Juarez
suburb of Anapra. The communities face one another across a narrow band
of desert.

The 10-foot-tall fence has been under construction for a year and could
be finished as early as March.

Border Patrol officials say the measures are necessary to reduce not
just crossings but also crimes committed in the area by drug traffickers
and Mexican gangs who rob trains passing through on the U.S. side.

In part, the agency has become a victim of its own success.

The area became more volatile when the blockade, known as Operation Hold
the Line, went up in 1993 and largely sealed off the once porous border
between El Paso and Juarez.

``Hold the Line has shifted a lot of illegal alien traffic to the
area,'' Assistant Border Patrol Chief Jaime Arras said. ``We are getting
more activity out there.''

Yet there is some debate as to how much the fence is really needed.

Some Sunland Park residents and immigration activists have protested the
fence, calling it an insult to Mexico in general and people in Anapra in
particular. They say illegal immigrants are only responsible for a small
fraction of the town's crime.

But law enforcement officials say it will be a welcome crime-fighting

During the eight years he lived in Sunland Park, he said, a Mexican
teen-ager tried to steal a television from his home, and there was the
theft of his motorcycle, which he recovered in Anapra.

Others said they've never had much trouble at all.

``I haven't seen that any people come to cause problems,'' said Uvaldo
Navarette, a resident for five years. ``It's like anywhere, like here,
you have good people and bad people.

``There are other things the government could be spending its money on
besides building walls and paying agents.''

On the other side, some Anapra residents said they resent the fence.

Norma Fernandez said U.S. church groups and others used to cross the
open border to bring food and other necessities to the impoverished

``Now they don't, and we're all needy here,'' Fernandez said while
peering over the half-completed fence.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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The Fort Stockton Pioneer
FORT STOCKTON, Jan. 23, 1997 - After a two-hour inspection of Pecos
County Memorial Hospital's foundation, engineers determined the damage
is spreading but does not pose an immediate threat to staff or patients.
Citizens will be given a chance for input in a town hall meeting before
the board of managers and Pecos County Commissioners decide whether to
repair the structure or build a new hospital on another site.

Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch
FORT DAVIS, Jan. 23, 1997 - Kim Little was honored as citizen of the
year at the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce banquet Jan. 18. Carol Wolkow
and Stan Price received the other major award for their work in creating
a viable recycling program in Fort Davis and Jeff Davis County. Rural
humorist Jim Bob Solsbery of Big Lake was guest speaker. Bill Wren of
McDonald Observatory gave a report on the observatory and outdoor
lighting control.

The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Jan. 23, 1997 - Presidio County Commissioners voted to apply for
a Texas Capital Fund grant for two projects and applied to the state to
alter the county's enterprise zone to include the Marfa Municipal
Airport, where a proposed tomato farm would be located on county
property. Half of the $1 million grant is earmarked to extend city of
Marfa water to the site, and the remainder to install compressor
stations to bring natural gas to the location.

The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Jan. 23, 1997 - Just three weeks into office, Brewster County
Sheriff Steve Whitley has discovered extensive damage to the jail and
poor training of jailers that will take many hours and thousands of
dollars to fix. Whitley said training jailers is a top priority. He
would like to have more jailers, but it is not in the budget. Other
concerns are no cell for females or inmates on suicide watch.

The International, Presidio Paper
PRESIDIO, Jan. 23, 1997 - West Texas Utilities Co. is installing 21
historic, prismatic glass acorn street lights on what's called
"Shakespeare Washington-styled" poles in downtown Presidio. The antique
lamp posts and lights cost about $3,000 each, which WTU expects to start
paying for themselves in 20 years. Ramon Ramirez, Presidio WTU service
manager, said the project is part of a "Beautify the Town" project.

The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Jan. 23, 1997 - Monahans Chamber of Commerce trustees back the
proposed $275,000 renovation of the arena's bucking chutes and horse
barns at the Ward County Fairgrounds, reports executive director Tammy
Swigert. She cited the need to maintain Monahans and Ward County as a
quarter horse center for the Southwest and the continued enhancement of
facilities that draw thousands of visitors a year.

The Sul Ross Skyline
ALPINE, Jan. 23, 1997 - The golden voices of Sul Ross State University
students will take the Alpine audience back to the Golden Age of Radio
Friday at 8 p.m. during «MDUL»A Night in Radioland.«MDNM» The
performance is patterned after the live radio performances of yesteryear
and will be broadcast live on KALP-FM Radio as one continuous show with
no commercial breaks.


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EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained
from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, or other agencies;
and from interviews with officers of those agencies.

On Jan. 3, a sheriff's deputy arrested Ciro Ortiz, 47, of Mexico, for
public intoxication four miles north of Pecos on Farm to Market Road

Sergio Saenz was taken into custody by police and turned over to Reeves
County Jail officials on Jan. 4. He was charged with no liability
insurance and abusing aerosol paint.
Jaime Soto was also arrested for abusing aerosol paint.
Both arrests took place in the 800 block of North Oak Street. Saenz and
Soto's ages and addresses were not available.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Arnulfo Lujan, 33, on a warrant for theft
under $50 at the Illusions bar, 611 E. Second St., about 12:30 a.m.,
Jan. 5.

Margarita Munoz was taken into custody the morning of Jan. 6 by a
Reeves County deputy at 1707 Alamo St., after having been served a
warrant charging her with criminal mischief over $1,500 and under
$20,000. Her age and address were not indicated.

Nolan Blount reported to police that the driver's side window to his
1993 Chevrolet pickup was broken out while parked at his residence at
1610 W. Sixth St., sometime between Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.

Edward Tersero, 37, 2209 Country Club Dr., was arrested by a sheriff's
deputy during the early morning hours of Jan. 7 and charged with two
counts of assault at the Purple Sage club in the 4000 block of South
Cedar Street.

Warrants were served the night on Jan. 9, as police arrested Jose
Alejandro Morales, 27, 332 N. Cypress. He was apprehended at his
residence after his probation was revoked on original charges of DWI and
burglary of a habitation.

Police served a Reeves County Sheriff's Office warrant to Ricardo M.
Estrada, 23, at the Illusions bar, 611 E. Second St., on Jan. 9. His
probation was revoked on an original charge of DWI.

Resisting arrest, evading detention and disorderly conduct were the
charges brought against Christopher Salcido, 22, 619 S. Pine St., when
he was arrested by police during the early morning hours of Jan. 10.

Police arrested Michael J. Foster for public intoxication during the
early morning hours of Jan. 11. His age and address were not given.

On Jan. 11, police arrested Ruben Martinez, whose age and address were
not indicated, at the Allsup's convenience store, 708 S. Cedar St. He
was charged with theft under $50.

Eric Florez, 17, 2129 Hackberry St., was arrested by police for public
intoxication in the 600 block of West 10th Street on Jan. 12.

Francisco Menchaca was taken into custody and charged with three counts
of terroristic threat when police investigated a disturbance in the 100
block of North Alamo Street the night of Jan. 12.

On Jan. 13 Rosa Baeza of Odessa reported to police that her brown,
green and tan 1994 Ford Supercab pickup was stolen from the Wal-Mart
parking lot, 1901 S. Cedar St.

Police arrested Tony Rodriguez, whose age and address were not listed,
for possession of marijuana under 2 ounces at Pecos High School the
morning of Jan. 13.

On Jan. 14 Rosa Varela reported to a sheriff's deputy that her son's
10-speed bike, maroon and black in color, was taken without his consent
from a residence in the corner of Fifth and Almond Streets on Dec. 25,

Ramon Natividad, 51, was arrested by police in the corner of Plum and
Jefferson streets the night of Jan. 16 after being served a warrant for
motion to surrender principal on a charge of possession of a controlled

On Jan. 16 police investigated an accident in the corner of Ninth and
Cedar streets.
Jesus E. Anaya, 81, was cited for failing to yield right of way at a
stop intersection when his 1995 Chevrolet pickup struck a 1986 GMC
pickup, driven by Jerry Baeza, 25. Addresses for the two drivers were
not available.

Francisco Menchaca was arrested by police on a warrant for terroristic
threat on Jan. 17. His age, address and place of arrest were not

Arturo Saenz, 25, 911 E. Fourth St., turned himself in to sheriff's
authorities on Jan. 17 and was served a warrant for casing injury to a
disabled individual and criminal trespass.

The morning of Jan. 18, police arrested Joe Louis Galindo for public
intoxication and possession of cocaine at the corner of Third and Cedar

Police arrested Oscar V. Muro at the Riverside Ballroom on East Third
Street for disorderly conduct, vulgar language, failure to identify
himself to a peace officer and simple assault during the early morning
hours of Jan. 19.

Poice arrested Jesus Armendariz for public intoxication and disorderly
conduct at the corner of Third and Oak streets the night of Jan. 19. His
age and address were not given.


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PECOS, Jan. 23, 1997 - High Wednesday 69, low last night 42. Today,
mostly cloudy and breezy. High 65-70. Southwest wind increasing to 15-25
mph and gusty. Caution is advised on area lakes through 8 pm. Tonight,
decreasing clouds, breezy this evening. Low 35-40. West wind 15-25 mph
and gusty this evening, then decreasing to 10-15 mph. Friday, sunny and
breezy. High 65-70. West wind 15-25 mph.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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