Sports|Opinion|Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|
The $500,000-plus renovation of the museum, completed in 1995, was
expected to help increase visitors to the museum, thereby increasing
revenue. That did not happen.
Interim museum board president Mike Burkholder said the number of
visitors to the West of the Pecos Museum in 1996 was around 16,000. That
figure was down from previous averages of about 19,000 visitors
annually, he said.
Renovation of the museum included the opening of the top floor and
adding refrigerated air-conditioning to the newly opened floor. Cooling
the additional space in the museum has proved to be more expensive than
was previously expected.
"We knew that with the addition of the third floor and refrigerated air
the utilities would increase, but we weren't completely prepared for how
much it did increase," Burkholder said. "We just finished our first full
year of history for electrical cost with the new air-conditioning."
In a museum board meeting held last week Dick Alligood, Pecos Chamber of
Commerce tourism committee head, presented the results of an energy
efficiency audit conducted on the West of the Pecos Museum building by
an auditor recommended by the Texas/New Mexico Power Company.
Alligood said that in 1994, prior to the museum building renovation, the
electric bill for the building was $2,014. In May of 1995 it was
determined the annual electric bill had grown to $11,265. Alligood said
that after the building renovation the chamber tourism committee had
been prepared to help the museum with an electric bill that was double
the 1994 annual cost but fell short of the funds to cover the 1995 bill.
In 1996 the tourism committee began looking at utility consumption in
the building and asked for the audit, Alligood said.
By implementing recommendations of the energy audit Alligood hopes to
reduce the electric bill for the museum to $5,000 to $7,000 annually.
The total museum budget is about $100,000 per year. The increased
utility expenses contributed to a $20,000 shortfall in the museum budget
for 1996, according to Burkholder.
"The museum is always experiencing financial difficulties, but we always
work them out," said Archie Scott, former president of the museum board.
"Like most charitable or non-profit organizations , it is always hard to
"We were expecting some funds to come in, and they did, so we were able
to cover the bills."
Funding for the museum comes from one cent of the hotel/motel funds
collected by the city, donations from local benefactors and donations
from the visitors to the museum.
"In the past few years we have lost some of the benefactors we could
usually count on," Buckholder said. "Also, the industrial base of the
city has deteriorated so that we can no longer count on some of the
corporate sponsors we used to."
Alligood said the chamber tourism committee recognizes the museum as one
of the main tourist attractions in Pecos.
"Tourism is very important to Pecos today," Alligood said. "It will
remain a very big portion of the economy in Pecos and Reeves County."
``As you sit here today, you believe he's guilty based on what you've
read?'' McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, asked the woman.
``Yes sir,'' said the woman, a mother with a 4-year-old child.
Jones also quoted a jury questionnaire on which she wrote, ``I can't
help but believe he's guilty based on the media reports.''
The woman said earlier she has avoided news reports since receiving her
jury summons, a five-week period in which The Dallas Morning News and
Playboy posted stories on the Internet about McVeigh's purported
confessions. Jones has claimed the jury pool was tainted by those
Jury selection was moving along at a snail's pace, with only six
prospects interviewed so far. And each one has expressed strong opinions
about the emotional case in which McVeigh is accused in the April 19,
1995, bombing that left 168 people dead and hundreds injured.
Five have said they would be willing to recommend the death penalty
should McVeigh be convicted. Three admitted they were reluctant to serve
Among the spectators in the front row were McVeigh's divorced parents,
Bill McVeigh of Pendleton, N.Y., and Mildred Frazer of Fort Pierce, Fla.
U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch agreed to allow them to view the
trial even though they may be witnesses.
Tom Kight, whose stepdaughter, Frankie Merrill, died in the bombing,
told reporters he sympathized with the defendant's father.
``This could have been one of our children,'' Kight said. ``We have to
have some compassion not for McVeigh, the son, but for the father.''
The exhaustive interrogation of potential jurors has covered their views
of not only the death penalty and news coverage of the case, but
opinions about the American government, the justice system and even the
O.J. Simpson trial.
Even McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, said the first day of
questioning had progressed ``slowly.'' McVeigh himself nodded and smiled
at each potential juror, but his expression hardened as discussions
turned to the death penalty.
The potential jurors were shielded from the view of most courtroom
spectators and were referred to only by numbers.
A woman who said she has had two nervous breakdowns, No. 630, said she
feared serving on the jury would bring on more health problems.
The woman, a personal shopper at a department store, said one of her
clients suggested the federal government may be involved in a conspiracy
surrounding the bombing. She said she wasn't sure if she shared that
Then there was No. 858. When asked about the government sieges at Ruby
Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the middle-aged man said he thought the
government failed to handle them as well as they could have. ``To me, in
my mind, they were overkill.''
The second prospective juror questioned, a churchgoing grandmother in
her 60s, said she cried and prayed for the victims as she watched TV
coverage of the bombing. Her dominant memory of McVeigh was the footage
of him in an orange jail jumpsuit being led out of a county jail in
``I felt very sorry for him,'' she said. ``For such a young man to waste
Jones asked: ``You didn't feel sorry because they arrested the wrong
``I didn't know,'' she said.
Starting from a pool of about 350, Matsch and attorneys must find 64
jurors who cannot be challenged for legal cause and are open to imposing
the death penalty.
Each side will be able to dismiss 20 candidates, and then to use three
more peremptory challenges to whittle the number to 12 jurors and six
alternates. The process could take weeks.
McVeigh, 28, could face a death sentence if convicted on murder,
conspiracy and weapons-related charges. Co-defendant Terry Nichols is to
be tried later.
Only four relatives of the victims watched the first day here. In
Oklahoma City, where there's room for 320 survivors and victims to watch
a closed-circuit telecast of the trial, only 60 showed up the first day
and just 30 today.
Contested races in Pecos, Balmorhea and Toyah should draw interest in
city council and school trustee elections.
Incumbents Jeannette Alligood and Marcella Lovett have no challengers
in the Reeves County Hospital District elections, but write-ins are
Freddy Lujan is challenging incumbents Hugh Box and Steve Armstrong for
two three-year terms on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board of trustees.
Darrell Rhyne and Reyes Castillo have filed against incumbents Paul
Matta and James Garlick for the two available spots on the Balmorhea ISD
board of trustees.
In the Balmorhea city election, Janelle Ward is the only incumbent to
file for one of the three two-year terms. Others are Richard Hoefs,
Blanca Barron, Olga Mendoza and Sammy Baeza.
Diana Tollett and Rose Barnes face Jana McHorse and Howard Dennett for
three two-year terms on the Toyah City Council.
In Barstow, Olga Abila, Lucio Florez and Salvador Villalobos have no
challengers for their seats on the council.
Early voting begins April 14 and continues through April 29 at 508 S.
Oak Street for Pecos city, school and hospital district elections. Debra
Thomas is elections coordinator.
Even though they were unable to keep the rules from applying today, they
groups still want to stop them for good.
Government lawyers argued that a delay initially imposed by a federal
judge Monday would have caused chaos, possibly jeopardizing thousands of
deportation cases. But an Immigration and Naturalization Service
official was more sanguine even after the lower court ruling.
``I'm not sure there will be chaos. It will just cause confusion,'' INS
spokesman Brian Jordan said late Monday. ``We're trying to do the best
we can to be faithful to our law, given the constraints we have by the
Jordan disclosed early today that those constraints had been lifted by
an appeals court acting after an emergency hearing Monday night. The INS
spokesman had no details of the appeals court ruling in his
Remaining at issue is a piece of last year's massive immigration law
that expedites the deportation of travelers carrying fraudulent or
invalid documents. Immigrant groups filed suit against the new
deportation provision, saying the government had not published
regulations implementing the provision 30 days before it was to take
effect, as administrative law requires.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan agreed and delayed implementation
of the implementing regulations until Saturday, 30 days after they were
published. He said the law made ``significant, complex changes,'' and
there was ``no doubt'' in his mind that Congress intended for the public
to have the full 30 days.
The government immediately appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia circuit and Sullivan's stay was lifted. However, it
was not immediately clear what, if any, the appeals court ruling would
have on the underlying challenge to the new rules.
A coalition of immigrant groups was due in court today to argue in a
second lawsuit that the INS, in the interest of moving cases more
quickly, was trampling on the rights of would-be immigrants.
The groups argued that the intent of Congress had been that the INS tell
people entering the country that they may apply for asylum.
The INS regulations do not direct immigration officers to inform people
of their rights unless they ask, said Sara Campos, staff attorney for
the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, which filed the suit along with
the American Civil Liberties Union.
``How do you know who may be eligible unless you tell them?'' she said.
But an INS attorney said Monday night that people will be informed of
their rights under the new regulations. ``We fully believe we're
consistent with the law,'' INS General Counsel David Martin said.
A federal judge was considering this point at today's hearing.
In the meantime, the law itself took effect at 12:01 a.m. today.
In court Monday, government attorneys argued that delaying the
regulations would be a disaster. ``It's going to be sheer chaos,''
Justice Department attorney Linda Wendtland told the court. The INS was
expected to process more than 5 million people entering the country
between today and Saturday.
Wendtland said computers were programmed to accept only new forms
beginning today and 24,000 immigration agents have been trained to use
the new regulations and would not know what to do without them.
``It would leave those agents entirely at a loss for how to proceed,''
Sullivan disagreed, saying INS would find a way.
The old law gave people trying to enter the country much longer to argue
their case, providing them time to consult with friends and lawyers -
or, critics charged, simply disappear.
Under the new law, the rights of federal courts to review deportation
and exclusion decisions would be sharply reduced. And the provisions
institute three- and 10-year bars to re-entry for certain people found
in the United States without authorization.
Memorial services for Max Phillip Bulsterbaum will be at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday in First Baptist Church, Fifth & Hickory.
Bulsterbaum, 54, died Thursday, March 27, 1997, in Odessa. His funeral
was held Saturday with burial in Lamesa Cemetary.
Jesus Carrasco Ramirez, 53, died Sunday, March 30, 1997, in Odessa
Medical Center Hospital.
Rosary will be at 7:30 p.m. today in Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
He was born on October 7, 1943, in Presidio.
Survivors include his wife, Maria Antonia Ramirez of Pecos; his mother,
Filomena Ramirez of Pecos; three sons, Jesus M. Ramirez Jr. and Armando
Ramirez of Odessa, and Gabriel Ramirez of Pecos; one daughter, Sandra
Ramirez Sauceda of Odessa; two brothers, Tony Ramirez of San Antonio and
Ruben Carrasco of San Angelo; three sisters, Elfida Molina of Pecos,
Josefina Flores of El Paso and Ernestina Maldonado of Midland; and 12
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