Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

Sports|Opinion|Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|


Wednesday, March 12, 1997

Chamber combines cowboys, cantaloupes

Return to top
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 1997 - Pecos Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday changed the
name of annual Fiesta Night in Old Pecos - held prior to the West of the
Pecos Rodeo - to Night in Old Pecos Cantaloupe Festival.

But not one director favored changing the name of the executive director
and president, and no action was taken to change the name of the chamber
to Reeves County Area Chamber of Commerce.

The recommendation to change the paid executive director title to
"president" and the volunteer president's title to "chairman of the
board" came from Art Roberts, Texas Association of Business & Chambers
of Commerce.

Roberts proposed the change to create some consistency in chambers
throughout the United States.

Executive Director Tom Rivera suggested the chamber name change to
include area towns of Barstow, Balmorhea, Saragosa and Toyah. He said
the only requirement is to file with the Secretary of State an amendment
to the articles of incorporation and pay a $25 fee.

Linda Gholson proposed the merger of the cantaloupe festival and FNIOP
to save the cantaloupe festival from almost certain demise.

"Since some don't want a cantaloupe festival, and cantaloupes are coming
off earlier now, let's have a Night in Old Pecos Cantaloupe Festival,"
she said.

Pauline Moore said the economic development committee had talked about
making the Night in Old Pecos more of an "Old West" celebration, and
cantaloupes would "play right into it."

President Paul Hinojos said he thought that was a good idea.

"When the fiesta was started, we didn't have a Mariachi
Festival or Diez y Seis, and I think what we tried to do
back then was to pull the community together," he said. "We need to
capitalize on the Western theme that Pecos is known for."

The vote was 14-4 in favor of the change.

Hinojos said that any civic organization that wants to participate is
welcome. He suggested activities, especially for children, that will
make the night a family event.

Rivera said the chamber would be a clearing house for all activities.

Linda Jones asked about the Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant that has
accompanied the early-August cantaloupe festival.

"There has been talk of maybe having a Little Miss Something-or-Other
with the fall fair and hopefully making the crowd at the fair bigger,"
she said.

Ray Fieldhouse, director of merchandising for the Midland Angels
baseball team and Odessa Jackalopes hockey team, introduced Bob
Flannery, director of group sales. Flannery described activities
designed to draw surrounding communities to Midland for the Angel AA
baseball games and to Odessa for the hockey games.

Special programs are planned for kids and groups, he said. One is Little
League night when Little Leaguers are invited to take the field with the
Angels and be introduced, then treated to a picnic.

Community Night is June 14, he said, and that includes a "great
promotion for kids," when the first 1,000 kids under 12 with a ticket
get a free jersey.

Discounted tickets are available at the chamber office.

Hinojos handed out a sign-up sheet for volunteers at the Pecos-Barstow
Warbirds boxing smoker coming up Saturday night.

He also invited directors and anyone else who would like to help to
gather at McDonald's parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with hoes, weed
eaters, trash sacks and gloves to help clean up along Walthall Street.

One group will be burning piles of debris created along U.S. Highway 285
in an earlier cleanup, he said. The chamber's purpose is to clean up
approaches to town and to Pecos High School, where out-of-town teams
participate in sports and other activities.

Anyone who would like to attend a free employer's workshop in El Paso
next Tuesday (March 18) was invited to call the chamber for details and
a possible car-pool arrangements.

Rivera said local merchants may be interested in problems that have
arisen over the agriculture exemption on sales tax. The chamber has
looked into it and obtained literature from the state comptroller and
attorney general, he said.

"I think the solution is to get an opinion issued by the attorney
general's office," he said. "We will work with local businesses to
assist them in any way we can."

Four local men were nominated to serve on the Permian Basin Workforce
Development Board, along with the county judge. Dick Alligood, Gerald
Tellez Jr., Hinojos and Rivera have agreed to serve.

"It is important to have representation on that board," Rivera said.
"They will determine where a lot of the funding goes."

Jones reported the Women's Division is signing up junior girls to
compete in the Golden Girl Pageant in June.

Moore said the economic development committee has formed teams on
economic development funding and personal visitation. She will ask the
Pecos City Council to put the tax incentive committee on their agenda to
present a proposed abatement plan.

Rivera said the advertising/tourism committee adopted a 1997 budget, but
still have some problems to work out.

Hinojos said he wants to divide the chamber into teams for a membership
drive and to award a prize to the team enrolling the most new members.
He said a telemarketing approach with immediate follow-up and an
extended time to enlist new members is his choice of method. It needs to
be done before school is out, he said.

N.M. concerned over WIPP waste routes

Return to top
From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, March 12, 1997 - The shipment of three barrels of radioactive
waste through New Mexico sparked concerns in the state's capital city,
while a hearing is scheduled tonight in another city on widening the
highway leading to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

Three drums of radioactive waste shipped to Los Alamos National
Laboratory from the Pantex plant in Amarillo can't be categorized yet as
destined for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a federal official says.
The drums made their way to Los Alamos earlier this week, by way of
Santa Fe, N.M.

Radioactive waste which will eventually be shipped south to the WIPP
will travel along a A 13-mile relief loop around Santa Fe. That route
only about one-third complete at this time.

Another project planned for New Mexico will widen U.S. 285 from two
lanes to four between the road's junction with Interstate 40 at Clines
Corners, N.M., and Carlsbad in order to increase safety of trucks
carrying radioactive waste along the route. A WIPP truck was involved in
a minor accident along a two-lane stretch of U.S. 285 near Artesia, N.M.
on Jan. 24 of this year.

Tonight's hearing in Roswell, N.M. will deal with construction on the
first part of the $120 million project, between Carlsbad and Roswell.
U.S. 285 is already four lanes from Carlsbad to Loving, N.M.

Transuranic waste from Los Alamos and five other sites in the Western
United States will travel along the route after the WIPP site opens. The
long-delayed project is scheduled to be completed next November.

WIPP is designed to bury plutonium-contaminated waste in ancient salt
beds 2,150 feet below the Earth's surface at a site 26 miles southeast
of Carlsbad and 75 miles north of Pecos.

Transuranic waste from four storage sites in the Southeast and Midwest
are scheduled to be transported to WIPP along Interstate 20, and then
through Pecos along U.S. 285.

There are currently no plans to widen U.S. 285 from two to four lanes
from Pecos to Loving, N.M. to improve safety in Texas for trucks
carrying transuranic waste. It will be the only stretch of highway WIPP
trucks from the Eastern states will travel that will not be four lanes.

Dennis Hurtt, spokesman for the Carlsbad, N.M., area office of the U.S.
Department of Energy said Tuesday no decision has been made on shipping
the waste sent from Amarill to Los Alamos to WIPP. He denied a report
Tuesday that the waste ultimately would be stored at WIPP.

``No equipment or personnel associated with the WIPP were involved in
this shipment. The waste was not transported using the WIPP
transportation system. It was shipped in a Nuclear Regulatory
Commission-certified nuclear waste shipping container not associated
with the TRUPACT-II, which is the shipping container that will carry
transuranic waste to the WIPP,'' said Hurtt.

Although the three drums did contain transuranic waste, the DOE said in
a news release Tuesday that ``it has not been determined whether the
contents ultimately will be shipped to the WIPP for permanent

The DOE said the shipment that moved through Santa Fe will be
temporarily stored at Los Alamos as a consolidation move which will save
$50,000 a year.

The waste, carried on an 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig monitored by
satellite, came from the DOE's Pantex weapons facility in Amarillo,
officials said.

The barrels represent Pantex's entire stock of the type of nuclear waste
WIPP is designed to store.

``This gets Texas out of the TRU waste business. This is a nice risk
reduction for Texas,'' said Mona Williams, waste management division
director for the DOE's Albuquerque Operations Office.

Ms. Williams had been reported as saying the shipment was designed to
consolidate waste destined for WIPP at sites in the DOE weapons complex,
such as Los Alamos, that already have large amounts of WIPP-destined
waste. She also estimated shipping the waste to Los Alamos would save
DOE $50,000 a year in storage costs at Pantex.

A DOE press release indicates that protocols governing WIPP shipments of
transuranic waste require the proper notification of states through
which the shipments will pass. "These protocols will be strictly
followed, and all WIPP shipments will be public knowledge once shipping
and disposal operations begin at the WIPP."

The agency noted that any WIPP shipments must meet stringent waste
disposal standards.

It said WIPP is scheduled to begin disposal operations next November,
although critics of the still unopened plant predict any opening won't
be that soon.

Copyright 1997 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
this report.

County gets OK to use funds from

health plan to build new rec center

Return to top
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 1997 - Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo has been
discussing the possibility of using accrued funds in the health
insurance plan towards the creation of a recreational facility.

"We met with Don Crawford, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Representative, to try
to find some answers of possibly using some of these funds to help
establish a recreational facility in Reeves County," said Galindo during
Monday afternoon's meeting of the Reeves County Commissioner's Court.

Galindo has been looking at several sites in Pecos trying to find a
possible location for the new facility. He also has been seeking ways to
fund the project, and has asked for help in doing so.

"This is a project that will benefit everyone, the whole community,"
said Galindo.

Crawford told Reeves County Commissioners Monday afternoon that it is a
possibility to use accrued funds from the insurance for such a project,
since it is for the employees health benefit.

"This is to make a major investment for the well-being of our own
employees," said Galindo.

"This is county money and can be used," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

The amount in question to be used for the recreational facility is

"Anything that will help the lifestyle, the well-being of the employees
is money well spent," said Crawford.

Pecos has not had an indoor recreational facility since December, 1990,
when the old West Pecos Gym was closed an condemned due to unsafe
support structures. The building had a racquetball court and weight
room, and was used for basketball, volleyball, boxing and Takekwon-do

Crawford stated that Blue Cross/Blue Shield could help with the
organizational part of setting up the facility.

"They can do a lifestyle analysis, come up with exercise programs and of
course encourage to obtain an activities coordinator," said Crawford.

"This facility wouldn't put your fund in any jeopardy," said Crawford.

"Your fund is real strong and this would be making a good investment in
your employees," he said.

Belinda Bryant, her son and a friend were on hand for the afternoon
portion of the meeting to give their input and thank the commissioners
for their efforts.

"Establishing this type of recreation can only enhance Reeves County and
provide more for our youngsters to do," said Bryant. "I believe we have
a lot of good kids in the community with the need for something to do to
keep them busy," she said.

Chris Bryant also told the court of the problems encountered in trying
to find a place to shoot baskets and engage in other sports.

"If we had a gym, the younger children wouldn't interfere with the older
ones and there would be something for all of us to do, without getting
in each other's way," said Bryant.

Galindo asked commissioners for help in forming a group to help find a
solution to some of these questions, of where, how to fund the facility
and how to go about setting it up.

An effort was begun two years ago to attract a YMCA, and was led by
Anchor West general manager Oscar Saenz.

"The YMCA Regional office in Dallas are the ones we have been in contact
with in trying to fulfill this venture," said Saenz.

The group took the first three steps, but after the third step was
evaluated, officials found that it would be difficult to support a YMCA
and admit everybody, due in part to income levels in the town.

"If we can get more people like Mr. Saenz to cooperate we can make this
dream a reality," said Galindo.


Return to top

Charlie Carrasco

A rosary will be held today for Charlie Carrasco, 49, who died Tuesday,
March 11, in Pecos.

Rosary will be today at 7:30 p.m. at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel, with
Mass scheduled for Thursday at 4 p.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
Father Juan Narez officiating. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born Jan. 25, 1948 in Barstow, was a Catholic and a laborer.

Survivors include his wife, Cecilia Carrasco; three daughters, Becky
Linder, Virginia and Genevive Carrasco of Phoenix, Ariz.; three sons,
Eddie, Carlos Jr. and Gilbert Carrasco of Phoenix, Ariz.; five sisters,
Elisa Mendoza of Pecos, Lupe Goodwin of Hayward, Calif., Juanita
Martinez of Visalia, Calif., Vera Galvez of Porterville, Calif., Sonia
Gonzales of Kermit; two brothers, Albert Carrasco of Odessa, Tom
Montalvo of Goshen, Calif. and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Return to top
High Tuesday 70, low last night 44. Tonight, fair. Low 45 50. South to
southwest wind 5-10 mph. Thursday, mostly sunny. High 80-85. West wind
5-15 mph.
Return to top

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall
not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or
redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.

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
Return to Menu

Return to Home Page