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February 6, 1997

Movie theater owner Nercessian,

still trying to sell State,

opens Stockton cinema

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 6, 1997 - Tina Nercessian, owner of the State Theater,
said today she was unable to raise funds to renovate and open it and so
far has been unsuccessful in her attempts to sell it.

Meanwhile, she has purchased the Apache Twin theater in Fort Stockton
and will open Friday with first-run movies, "Zeus and Roxanne" and "One
Fine Day."

Nercessian said the Apache required much less renovation than the
State. A good cleaning and a new screen put it in top condition, she

Although she is excited about the Apache opening, Nercessian said she
feels bad about not being able to open the State.

"People here are saying, `Why don't you open this one?'" she said. "We
have a for sale sign on it and have called people to see if they want to
buy it. But a small size town, they don't usually mess with.

"Hopefully, in the near future we can decide whether to take it off the
market and see how business goes in Fort Stockton," she said.

The Apache reopened in late 1994 after being closed for many years,
then closed again in 1996. Compared to the State, Nercessian said,
opening it was a "turn key" operation.

Nercessian sought a low-interest loan from Reeves County to refurbish
the State Theater, adding air conditioning, a roof and "a lot of big

GTE pushes back start

of Caller ID for area

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 6, 1997 - Individuals who would like the new caller-ID
service will have a bit longer to wait in Pecos.

"It's on the schedule for some time this year," said GTE Public Affairs
Manager Charles Watkins.

Earlier reports had indicated the new service would be available in the
area this month, but such is not the case, according to Watkins.

"We have no absolute date on when it will become available," he said

"There is some equipment that «MD120»Column 1: vj expansion of 0.49
points at lines, 0.49 at par«MDNM»
needs to be in order for the system to function," said Watkins.

The equipment that needs to be installed allows the system to recognize
calls locally and throughout the state, and is currently unavailable,
Watkins explained.

"We don't have that equipment yet and as soon as we can get it, we can
get the system up and going," he said.

Watkins expects to receive word from a Dallas based firm in the near
future on exactly when the equipment will be available and when the
system can be set up locally.

Bunton's return visitor

to court staying longer

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 6, 1997 - Billy Mel Alford lost his bid for freedom
Wednesday morning when Senior Judge Lucius Bunton denied his appeal for
release on bail.

Although it has been more than 10 years since Judge Bunton sentenced
Alford to prison for his part in a large marijuana smuggling ring, the
judge said he would have recognized him, even with a beard.

"I have put on about 100 pounds," said Alford, whose portly figure was
clad in dingy white clothes provided by Reeves County Jail.

"Well, you weren't real skinny the last time I saw you," said Judge

Alford's attorney, Don Carter of Dallas, asked that Judge Bunton set
bail, with special terms of release that would ensure the accused drug
dealer would appear for trial.

In a previous detention hearing before a Dallas magistrate, government
prosecutors had claimed Alford is a danger to the community and a flight

Carter said that in-house arrest, electronic monitoring and special
conditions of reporting would ensure that Alford would be neither. His
health problems - Bell's palsy, asthma, high blood pressure and
arthritis - would hinder his traveling around the country, Carter said.

"Since he was here last time, he showed up for court after the sentence
and after the appeal. He wants to assure the court he will be here. He's
the type of person that will take care of his business," Carter said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Blankinship repeated testimony from the
"full-blown detention hearing" in Dallas.

He described the arrest of two people who were driving vans loaded with
1,200 to 1,300 pounds of marijuana each and their claim that Alford
owned the dope.

One of the drivers, Paul Preston, said that Alford carries a small
pistol in his pocket, and that he said he would not go back to prison.
He is on parole on the 1984 conviction for marijuana smuggling.

Preston said he had gone into Mexico with Alford and met his supplier, a
middle-aged man named "Manny."

Blankinship said that Manuel Acosta was Alford's supplier in the earlier
smuggling ring, was convicted along with him (and 16 others), and that
he had escaped from the federal prison camp at Big Spring.

Alford supplied the money to hire lawyers for the co-defendants in this
case, Blankinship said. And he was seen in Fort Worth at a nice house
where a search on Tuesday turned up 27 pounds of marijuana, a large
number of wrappings taken from bales of marijuana, plastic bags,
pictures of Alford inside the house with another man known to be a
convicted dope dealer and a pair of shorts, size 56.

Agents spoke with the neighbors, and their description of the house's
owner fits Alford, Blankinship said.

The neighbors also said the man who previously owned the house said he
sold it to a man who had a lot of money.

"This in the face of this man telling his parole officer he doesn't have
money," Blankinship said.

"Based on the amount of dope crossed, 2,600 pounds of marijuana, and -
if Preston is to be believed, there's three or four times as much that
Preston has been involved in...

"This is the biggest marijuana case we have had out here since Alford
got caught last time," Blankinship said. "He can't be trusted to tell
(court officers) the truth. He has shown a propensity to keep dealing
dope on a major scale and is a danger to the community.

"He says he is not going back to prison and carries a gun. He is hiring
lawyers, has a house in Fort Worth. He is a flight risk and a real
danger to the community," Blankinship summed up.

Carter said he has seen no evidence that Alford carries a gun, and that
Blankinship's informant can't be believed because he is trying to make a
better deal for himself.

Alford could not have touched or smelled the marijuana found in the
house in Fort Worth, because he has been in jail since his arrest two
months ago, Carter said. And the size 56 shorts could belong to the
other large man in the photos, Billy Romines.

Judge Bunton said that Alford was on parole on a state court conviction
at his earlier federal trial and is now on special parole from federal

"The time he is looking at would indicate to me he might well be a
flight risk," he said. "I don't think it would be a good idea to release
him on bond. I shall not do so."

He said trial is set for March 3, and "As you know, we don't grant
continuances, so it will go to trial."

Plea deal ends Texaco burglary trial

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 6, 1997 - Halfway through a criminal trial Tuesday, the
defendant accepted a plea bargain offered by District Attorney Randy
Reynolds, and 143rd District Court jurors were sent home.

Mingo Jimenez, who was charged with felony burglary of Amigo's Texaco,
pleaded guilty to theft by appropriation.

Reynolds said the sentence of one year probation, plus a $500 fine,
court costs and restitution, is similar to felony punishment for the

Burglary is a state jail felony, for which a conviction carries
automatic probation of 2-5 years for a first-time offender.

"He gets one year less and no felony conviction," Reynolds said.

He said he offered the plea bargain due to further investigation and
pending matters.

District Judge Bob Parks continued "jury week" this morning with a civil
damage suit involving an accident on the Flying J Travel Plaza parking

Vicky Lifsey claims she was injured as she stepped from a truck on the
parking lot onto a railroad tie left lying on the parking lot.

Her attorney, Steve Hershberger of Midland, told prospective jurors
during voir dire this morning that Lifsey had a blood clot as a result
of her fall.

Odessa attorney Bruce Bangert said the driver of the truck that had been
parked next to the Lifsey truck was probably responsible for leaving the
railroad tie behind. Lifsey also was negligent because she failed to
look where she was stepping as she descended from the truck, he said.


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Amada Chavez

Amada Sanchez Chavez, 71, died Monday, Feb. 3 in Galveston.

A rosary will be held on Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. at Martinez Funeral Home

Mass is scheduled for Friday, at 2 p.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with burial at Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born Oct. 7, 1915, in Valentine, Texas, was a housewife, a
long-time Pecos resident and had resided in Texas City for five years.

Survivors include five sons, Pablo Chavez of Hobbs, N.M., Dolores,
Amador, Ygnacio and Ismael Chavez of Pecos; four daughters, Esperanza
Garcia of Portales, N.M., Ygnacia Padilla of Rancho Mirage, Calif.,
Maria Chavez of Hobbs, N.M., Juanita Flores of Texas City; three
brothers, Bartolo and Benito Sanchez of Toyah, Ted Chavez of Odessa;
three sisters, Caterina Salcido and Noberta Marquez of Odessa, Lola Mula
of Valentine; 58 grandchildren; 86 great-grandchildren and 18
great-great grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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High Wednesday 52, low last night 38. Rainfall trace. February rainfall
trace. Year-to-date .37 inch. Tonight, a slight chance of rain early,
otherwise decreasing clouds. Low in the mid 30s. East wind 5-15 mph,
becoming west after midnight. Chance of rain less than 20 percent.
Friday, partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s. Northwest wind 10-20 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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