The MONAHANS NEWS
Weekly Newspaper for Ward County
Feb. 27, 1997
$93,247 bid at Ward County
Livestock Show Auction
Return to top
When Flying Colonel Sandy Leverett lowered his gavel for the last time
bringing the 58th edition of the Ward County Livestock Show to an end
Friday, Feb. 21, a total of $93,247 was bid for the 90 animals that made
Stacey Bookmiller's Grand Champion Steer led the money parade at the
auction when Brantley Trucking paid $2,514 for the animal.
First National Bank of Monahans paid $10.25 a pound ($1,209.50) for
Kayce Renfro's Grand Champion Lamb.
Lance Porter's Grand Champion Swine brought $4 a pound ($928) from John
Paul Jones Motors and First State Bank.
Other Grand Champions, their exhibitors, purchasers and auction prices
Grand Champion Capon exhibited by Tonya Hix, purchased by Krazy
Kritters Pet Shop and Dan Gibbs Franklin Life Insurance for $525.
Grand Champion Goat, exhibited by Jessica Kessler, purchased for $1,300
by a group that included Lilly Kramer, Cecil White/Chief Transport,
Leslie Clemmer, Texas Lease Works, Imperial Supply, Jan Electric, Ulis
Hunt, Lloyd Clemmer, Dale Stennett, Clide Oil Co., E.L. Clemmer, Pool
Trucking, Kevin Sipes, J.B. Pogue, Bichnel Plumbing and Bill Gray.
Grand Champion Rabbit (meat pen), exhibited by Melissa Rogers, purchased
by Mitchell's Thriftimart Inc. for $925.
Grand Champion Game Bird exhibited by Calen Baucom purchased by Doc's
Reverse and First National Bank for $1,225.
Friday afternoon activities began with the presentation of production
buckles, exhibit and horseshow awards.
Tania Bryan took the Horse Showmanship award, presented by Purina
Mills. The Production Buckle in that category, sponsored by
Dutcher-Phipps Crane & Rigging, went to Amanda Uechi.
Winners of the Production buckles are based on management of resources,
record books and participation. Winners in each category with the buckle
Jimmy Raspberry, (Swine) Bruce and Pam Treadaway; Tyrell Dutcher
(Gamebirds), Chevron Wickett/Sandhills Unit; Melissa and Amber Rogers
(Rabbits), Home Smoked Meats of Wink; Orrin Schoolcraft (Lambs), Wood
Feeds; Erica Anaya (Hampshire Swine), L.E. Sloan; Justin Yates (Goats),
Monahans Pharmacy; Jody Perry (Cross Swine), Craft Wireline; Logan
Schoolcraft (capons), John Asbury; Christina Huertas (medium wt. Steer),
Vicki Yates; and Ashley Canava (Goats), Kirkland Nursery.
Exhibit awards went to Megan Wittie (Swine), Kayla and Sherry
Brandenburg (goats), J.C. and Christi Kester (lambs); Charla Bledsoe
(rabbits), John Wilhelm (gamebird) and Garet Claborn (steers).
The second time was a charm for Stacy Bookmiller when her Angus cross
was named Grand Champion.
The steer brought $2.00 a pound from Brantley Trucking. The youth showed
the Reserve Champion steer at last year's show. That honor went to
Lacresia Porter this time around.
Grand Champion awards also went to Lance Porter, swine; Tonya Hix,
capon; Jessica Kessler, goat; Melissa Rogers, rabbit, Kayse Renfro, lamb
and Calen Baucom, gamebird.
Garnering Reserve Grand Champion honors were Justin Canava, swine;
Christie Bates, goat; Orrin Schoolcraft, lamb; and Doug Crumrine,
Chamber of Commerce names Monahans civic,
business leader 'outstanding citizen' of the year
Return to top
Jack Grant, a retired oil patch executive who is a civic and religious
leader in Ward County, Monday, Feb. 24, was named the Monahans Chamber
of Commerce's "Outstanding Citizen" of the year.
The award came at the chamber's annual dinner in the Ward County
Convention Center's banquet room.
Clarese Gough's announcement of Grant's award keyed the chamber's three
annual awards given to citizens of Ward County. C. Pearson Cooper, a
former publisher of the Monahans News and a quarterhorse enthusiast, won
the Merit Award. Max Johnson, a Monahans High School coach and teacher,
received the Youth Leadership Award. More than 100 Chamber members and
guests attended. Members of the Monahans High School girl's varsity
basketball team checked coats and hats; Coach Robin Fulce's Lobo
baseball squad provided valet parking; FHA girls acted as servers and
provided bus service.
The Outstanding Citizen award to Grant highlighted the evening.
When presenting Grant the award, Gough read a litany of Grant's various
accomplishments since coming to Ward County about a half-century ago.
Those included stints as president, director, chair of several
committees for the Chamber of Commerce; service as a Monahans Jaycees
president, state Jaycee vice president, a national Jaycees director and
winning the Jaycee JAKE award for outstanding service; being chosen
Outstanding Young Texan; serving as a charter member, president and
board member of the Monahans Housing Authority; being a deacon, teacher,
treasurer and youth worker for the Baptist Church; membership or working
closely with the Lions Club, Boys Club of America, the Lobo Band; the
Gleaners; the Ward County Livestock Show and the City Council.
Says Gough of Grant: "The honoree's children stressed the good example
he has set for them through his unshakable faith, his integrity, his
sense of ethics, his honesty and his philosophy that, "You only receive
when you give."
Property tax relief
Senate committee approves bill
for Monahans, Winkler
Return to top
AUSTIN - Members of the State Senate Committee on Intergovernmental
Affairs, Wednesday, Feb. 26, approved legislation to provide property
tax relief for the city of Monahans and Winkler County.
Monahans City Manager David Mills and Winkler County Judge Bonnie Leck
testified before the committee. The bill, whose lead sponsor is State
Sen. Bob Duncan, R-Lubbock, would resolve a jurisdiction issue that
arose when citizens of Monahans and Winkler County approved a half-cent
sales tax for property tax relief. Duncan says the State Senate is about
two weeks ahead of House action on a comparable bill in the State
Ward County sales tax rebates
up 45 percent in February
Return to top
AUSTIN - State sales tax rebates to Ward County cities jumped
45.28 percent this February, reports Texas State Comptroller John Sharp.
The increase is a comparison with February of 1996, says Sharp.
Monahans enactment in the Spring of 1996 of a half-cent sales tax for
economic development is the principal reason for the major increase in
sales tax rebates for Monahans and the county.
Grandfalls, Monahans, Pyote, Thorntonville and and Wickett received
sales tax checks totaling $71,589.24 compared with $49,275.32 for the
same month last year, according to the statement released in Austin.
Monahans was the big leader - $66,612.20 in sales tax rebates up more
than $20,000 from the $43,515.27 the previous February. That, Sharp
notes, is an increase of 53.07 percent in the city of Monahans.
Wickett was second among Ward County town governments in sales tax
rebate checks although the community dropped nearly 20 percent this
February compared with last year.
Wickett's numbers were: $2,639.74 for February of 1997, $3,268.12 in
February of 1996 which equals an exact percentage decrease of 19.22
Other February numbers for the county's cities:
Grandfalls, $1,232.57 down 16.7 percent from the $1,479.80 state sales
tax check last February.
Pyote, $964.02 up 7.8 percent from $894.20.
Thorntonville, $140.71 down 19.31 percent from $117.93.
Sales tax rebates to the Ward County cities so far in 1997 total
$115,656 compared with 79,192. for the first two months of 1996, an
increase of 46.04 percent. This also can be attributed to the additional
half-cent sales tax that began in Monahans last Spring.
Total state sales tax checks to Monahans for the first two months of the
year are $107,508.44 an increase of 55.76 percent over the $69,020.57
reported by the State Comptroller for the same period of 1996.
Rebates to date for other Ward County Cities are:
Grandfalls, $1,559.85 down 41.52 percent from $2,667.35; Pyote,
$1,682.65 up 6.17 percent from $1,584.72; Thorntonville, $216.94 up
45.53 percent from $149.06; and Wickett, $4,688.18 down 18.76 percent
Stephens is school superintendent
Return to top
Clifton L. Stephens is the superintendent-designate of the
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District.
With the district already ranked highly by the state, Stephens says he
wants to help bring all the district's schools to an exemplary rating
(the state's highest where 90 percent of students pass each section of
the TAAS test. One district campus, Gensler Elementary in Wickett,
already has that ranking.
Stephens says his focus is academics but all aspects of school life are
important. He also would not be adverse "to a state football
championship next Fall."
The new superintendent's son, Brandon, is a junior who was the starting
quarterback on the Lobo bi-district champions last Autumn. Brandon also
is a starting outfielder on the Lobo baseball squad this Spring.
There are challenges, Stephens says, challenges that also can be
opportunities. One major piece of reality is a district enrollment that
has been declining yearly, a fact that can directly be traced to a
shifting area economy. But Stephens notes that a school district can be
a major force in any economy.
"Because people will move to an area where there are fine schools,"
says Stephens. "Good schools are a major force in any economic
In answer to a query (a question, says the superintendent-designate,
which also was asked by the board):
"The most important thing is to respect each other and work hard and
long at what we're doing."
More from Stephens:
"You can't stop trying to build rapport between faculty, students and
Stephens currently is the assistant superintendent of
curriculum/personnel at the district. For the previous two years, he had
been principal of Monahans High School.
Wednesday morning, Feb. 26, Stephens was fielding a phalanx of
well-wishers both personal and on the telephone. School district
administrators , teaching staff and support personnel alike
congratulated the school board and Stephens on the appointment.
"This is a fine school district," Stephens says. "There are goals and
there always are places to fine tune. We are good and we are going to be
make the good better."
He also notes: "I see no reason for radical change."
Stephens' appointment as the district superintendent-designate became
official at 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, after an executive session
of the Board of Education in the board offices. Interim Superintendent
Mike Fletcher had predicted exactly when the board would return to open
Fletcher, who is the district's vice superintendent for administration,
did not seek to become superintendent. He repeatedly said he was happy
in the job which he has held.
Tuesday night's session began at 7:01 p.m. after Board President Johnny
White reconvened the board to continue deliberations that had started
Saturday, Feb. 22, in the board's search for a new superintendent. After
White brought the board back into open session, he asked for the motion
to appoint Stephens. School trustees responded en masse and unanimously
approved the appointment.
Formal ratification of Stephens' appointment must wait 21 days,
according to state law, after the announcement of the choice of the
superintendent. School board members are expected to ratify their
Tuesday night appointment at its meeting on March 18. The trustees
meeting is delayed from the regular meeting on the second Tuesday of the
month because of the scheduled Spring Break March 10 through March 14.
Stephens succeeds former Superintendent Jack L. Clemmons who resigned
before Christmas last year to accept the position as superintendent of
the larger Victoria School District.
Under the agreement between the board and Stephens, the new
superintendent will receive a salary of $82,500 a year, less than the
about $90,000 which was paid Clemmons but an increase over the $63,500
a year Stephens receives as an assistant superintendent.
The contract under which Stephens will work, in effect, will be for two
years and nine months because of the circumstances that bring him into
the new job a little more than halfway through the school year.
Eventually, depending on job evaluations and the pleasure of the school
trustees, the contract will transcend into a three-year contract for the
school superintendent, which has become the norm in Monahans.
Most school superintendents in the nation work under five-year contracts
to better remove them from the political storms that sometimes blow
through boards of education.
Stephens was the choice of the board taken from a short list of
candidates for the position that also included Calvin L. Carrell, the
principal of Sudderth Elementary School in Monahans.
The remainder of the final six were Midlothian School District
Superintendent Jimmie Carpenter; Hubbard superintendent Les Farmer,
Tahoka superintendent David Hutton and Clyde superintendent Tony Reed.
The process moved quickly after the names of the half-dozen finalists
were released by the school board on Feb. 11.
Those six were chosen from an initial pool of 35 applicants which then
was narrowed to a dozen in late January. Stephens was born on July 19,
1954. He is married and the father of two children.
The tank's not working
Return to top
The 90-day wonder called the Million Barrel Tank simply didn't work.
It was big and it should have been able to hold the oil until Shell Oil
Co. thought they could get the best prices for it but:
1. The tank leaked
2. Its roof did not retard evaporation.
3. Federal bureaucrats thought it was a dandy idea to tax oil stored
4. And here came the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Stock Market
crashed in 1929. The tank had been built in 90 frantic days of
construction by mules and men in 1928.
With all the doom and gloom about the tank's future, Shell and oil field
executives always maintained the tank did fill an immediate need. That
need: It provided a place to store the flow from the first wells in the
Now came the opportunity to turn a problem, the Million Barrel Tank,
into an opportunity.
Dr. W.O. Rehmeyer, physician and surgeon, of Monahans saw an opportunity
as early as 1926.
From an epilogue to a biography of the medical doctor on file with the
Ward County Historical Archives:
"When the tank was built in 1928, it was a fiasco because it would not
hold oil. In 1935, the roof had to be removed. In 1936, Dr. Rehmeyer
tried to acquire the tank. His plans were to develop 'a nice park,'
another way of improving the community and beautifying it. Know what Dr.
Rehmeyer had done in 1935 with the grounds around his new hospital, it
is not hard to imagine what plans he had for the 10 acres. No doubt it
would have been a garden spot around a 'lake' (the former oil holding
tank). He was getting favorable responses from the local councilmen, the
American Legion and several individuals. His plans 0 his dreams - were
scotched, however, because Shell was not in a mood to sell."
Since the physician made the attempt to turn the area into a park,
several other options were examined before the Million Barrel Museum was
opened in 1987 on the 14.5 acres which includes the tank on the East
edge of Monahans.
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Long acquired the tank from Shell in 1957 and,
according to documents in the archives, "attempted to create a
recreational area featuring the tank as a man-made lake. The tank would
not hold water any better than it had held oil.'
The Long Family's "Melody Park" dream was abandoned.
Then along came the Texas Sesquicentennial and the Ward County
Historical Commission suggested the site be made into a museum.
From the archives:
"Mrs. Long gave it for this purpose in memory of her husband.
"Just as Dr. Rehmeyer had gone to the citizenry for help, so, in 1984,
the Museum Committee approached the people of the county.
"Hard work and private financial support produced the Million Barrel
Museum. Dr. Rehmeyer's Shell tank had at last blossomed into something!
"We think he would have been pleased."
Return to top
Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
Return to Menu
Return to Home Page