The MONAHANS NEWS
Weekly Newspaper for Ward County
May 1, 1997
Sixta Sotelo joins medical team
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Ward Memorial Hospital Administrator Bill O'Brien and Drs. William
Davison and Gary Albertson of the Family Medical Center say they are
proud and happy to welcome Dr. Sixta Sotelo to Monahans.
Sotelo always has excelled as a student. She led her class from the
time she entered school until she was graduated from high school.
She earned her medical degree from St. Louis University, Baguio City,
Philippines and did her Post-Graduate Internship at Mariano Marcos
Medical Center, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Of the more than 1000
doctors taking the Philippines National Board Exam, Sotelo placed ninth.
Sotelo practiced Primary Care at Abra Provincial Hospital, Philippines
and was also very involved in medical missions serving underdeveloped
areas all across the country.
She says this was a rewarding practice and she was sorry to leave it
behind when she left the Philippines. From January 1994 to December
1996 Sotelo did an Internal Medicine Internship and
Residency with New York Medical College at Metropolitan Hospital Center,
New York, New York. She was named the Outstanding Professional,
Department of Medicine, Metropolitan Hospital Center. She came to
Monahans in March of this year.
Sotelo is the youngest of six children, born on Aug. 6 and was named
Sixta because of this coincidence and the fact that St. Sixtus' feast
day is in August. Her mother died when she was three years old and she
was reared by her father.
Her two brothers are still in the Philippines, but her two surviving
sisters reside in Canada. When her sisters asked their father to move
to Canada to be closer to them, he agreed only if his youngest daughter
would accompany him.
When asked if she wasn't still a long way from him here in West Texas
she replied that being on the same continent she is able to call him
Though Sotelo was sad to leave her practice and her home in the
Philippines and was somewhat anxious about the move to Monahans, she has
been pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the welcome.
She likes the people here and says a small town is what she prefers.
She hopes to spend many years in Ward County serving the medical needs
of her patients. She is now accepting patients at the Family Medical
County funds in good shape
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An audit of the Ward County Treasurer's Office by an independent firm
from Fort Worth indicates the county's financial records are in good
Dubbing the audit "a good, clean report," Carol McDonald, of the CPA
firm M. Carol McDonald & Co., read the results of her work to the County
Commissioners Court Monday morning during its regular meeting.
The county's records, said McDonald, were in compliance with federal
and state regulations concerning the disbursement of government funds.
Of the 12 counties McDonald's firm has audited this year, Ward is by
far in the best shape, she said. "In essence, the county is doing what
it supposed," she concluded.
The lone exception was what was considered a small matter bank record
reconciliation in the office of Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Pascual
Olibas. She said the audit found two unexplained cash shortages, one of
$17 and another of $65. Under changes made by the county, J.P. Olibas
now files his daily receipts with County Treasurer Nell Berry.
In other business, the commissioners also approved the creation of a
holding cell on the second floor of the courthouse.
Bands win sweepstakes
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The Monahans High School Symphonic Band and the Walker Junior High Band
each won Sweepstakes awards at the UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest
held in the high school auditorium on Thursday, March 24.
Both bands received first division ratings from every judge.
The Walker Junior High "B" band was awarded a second division rating
both in concert playing and sight-reading and the High School Concert
Band won a second division in concert and a first division in
The Symphonic Band received a standing ovation from the fans that packed
the Lobo auditorium for the band's 5:30 p.m. conference.
Judge's comments after hearing the march, Barnum & Bailey's Favorite:
"Great Band Sound!! A very fine band . . .great 'stinger'"
"Boy, this band plays with a lot of spirit and gusto . . .this is the
way a march should be played."
After Lord of the Rings:
""Lord, what a band!! . . .excellent soloists and good percussion."
After hearing The Ascension, judges said:
""Wow, band plays so wonderfully . . .very nicely done!"
"A wonderful job on a wonderful piece of music . . what a fine, fine
band - I know everyone in Monahans is proud . . .they are all here!"
After sight-reading, the judges commented:
"Beautiful Band, you read this selection so musically!
"Balance and overall band sonority were outstanding. I hope you all
realize how fortunate you are to be apart of a terrific band and a great
tradition in your school. Just an outstanding job by an outstanding band
"Fantastic! Band, it was an honor for me to hear you today. It is a
pleasure to see students and directors work the way you do. You prove
daily what is right with music education."
After the UIL contest ended, the Big Green Band packed their bags and
instruments and left for Galveston to compete in the Southcoast Music
Festival. The contest was held in the 1894 Opera House. In Galveston,
the Symphonic Band won the outstanding band in class award.
Band directors Tony Gibbs, Jim Rhodes, Andy Patterson and Mike Eckerty
expressed their appreciation to the students, parents, townspeople,
faculty and school administration for their support.
"Having a good band program is a team effort that involves the entire
community - and I know for a fact that Monahans has the very best band
supporters in America and we feel privileged and honored to have this
fantastic involvement and support."
Land board seminar May 8
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Members of the Texas Veterans Land Board will conduct a seminar in
Monahans on Thursday, May 8, to explain how Texas veterans may take
advantage of $110,000 in special low interest loans.
The announcement came from the office of Texas Land Commissioner Garry
From Mauro's communique:
The seminar is set for 6:30 p.m. in Commissioners Court in the Ward
County Courthouse, 400 South Allen in Monahans. Registration begins at 6
Trustees of the Veterans Land Board recently increased the maximum
amount of a TexVet land loan from $20,000 to $40,000.
Says Mauro: "This means veterans who want to buy land will now have the
option of borrowing $20,000 at 6.65 percent or $40,000 at 8.85 percent.
Both carry a 30-year term and require a five percent down payment."
Mauro, as land commissioner, is chairman of the Veterans Land
Board.Property tax break in works
Barring unforeseen and unexpected developments, citizens of the city of
Monahans and Winkler County will receive a property tax break on Oct. 1
The City Council of Monahans, county seat of Ward County, and the
Winkler County Commissioners sometime in June will validate a half-cent
sales tax increase enacted by the voters about a year ago in an
attempt to lower their property taxes.
The voter approved sales tax increase has been stalled because of
conflicting jurisdictions between the two governmental entities. Special
legislation was needed to resolve the problem. That came from Ward
County's legislative delegation in Austin.
State Rep. Bob Turner, D-Coleman, and State Sen. Bob Duncan, R-Lubbock,
led the bipartisan initiative that, says Duncan, "finally will bring the
tax relief the citizens of Monahans and Winkler County approved many
"Gov. George Bush will sign it," comments Turner.
Turner's 73rd State House District and Duncan's 28th State Senate
District includes Ward County.
The final legislative step came on Friday, April 25, when the House
approved the legislation. State Senators approved the bill on March 5.
Both bills are the same, eliminating any need for a conference committee
to resolve any differences between the House and Senate versions of the
Cosponsors of the legislation were Winkler County's delegation - State
Rep. Gary Walker, R-Plains, of the 80th District and State Sen. Teel
Bivins, R-Amarillo, of the 31st District.
According to state law, the property tax relief will be proportional to
the amount of monies collected in the special half-cent sales tax.
The jurisdiction conflict that postponed enactment of the sales tax was
cited by the State Comptroller's Office when it disallowed the election
saying overlapping governmental boundaries caused the overall sales tax
to exceed the legal gap.
Monahans had annexed 5,000 acres of Winkler County in the 1950s.
Trustee election Saturday
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Voters in District 7 of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District will
choose their delegate to the district's board of trustees on Saturday,
School board District 7 polls open in the Ward County Coliseum at 7 a.m.
and close at 7 p.m. The District 7 school board race between Steve
Hurst, an executive of Monachem Inc., and Alan Steen, a former Monahans
Chamber of Commerce president, is the only contested race on the ballot.
Incumbent District 6 School Board Member Steve Swarb has no opposition.
District 6 voting will be at Tatom Elementary School.
School officials report 118 ballots were cast in the Early Voting Period
that ended on Tuesday.
Million-dollar upgrade at Sandhills
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Friends of Monahans Sandhills State Park this week accelerated their
drive to raise $160,000 to trigger a nearly million dollar upgrade at
the park that would include a state-of-the-art exhibit and visitor's
The center recently was named for sandhills activists J. Conrad and
Kathlyn C. Dunagan.
Sandhills Friends already have reached about $75,000 in the fund drive
principally because of a $50,000 grant from the Abell-Hanger Foundation
of Midland, reports Richard J. Hoyer of Monahans, the treasurer of the
The time in the drive has come for the sandhills supporters to go to the
people and ask for their help, notes Hoyer and Kathlyn Dunagan,
president of the Friends of Monahans Sandhills State Park.
"If everyone who has visited the Monahans Sandhills State Park, enjoyed
it and want to see it preserved for future generations would contribute
even $10, we would be able to reach our goal," notes Dunagan.
She notes that not everyone is wealthy but everyone who can afford "to
go to a picture show might consider giving up one picture show and
donating that money to the park."
Hoyer and Dunagan thanked the major contributors who have pushed the
contributions for the sandhills already to about $75,000 - especially
the $50,000 Abell-Hanger Foundation gift. Dunagan notes in a letter to
Arlen L. Edgar, president of Abell-Hanger: "To say 'thank you' for such
a generous donation is inadequate but please know that we are indeed
grateful beyond words."
In an interview Dunagan notes: "We are grateful for the larger sums we
have received from the Abell-Hanger Foundation, Dodge Jones Foundation
and West Texas Bancshares Inc. but even Abell-Hanger, who gave us
$50,000 made it a matching grant. This means they are counting on many
other people to join them in helping them to create a first class museum
interpretative center which will deserve and receive recognition as an
educational as well as a recreational center."
Dodge-Jones and West Texas Bancshares, reports Hoyer, , have provided
"And one individual (who remains anonymous) wrote us a $1,000 check,"
says Hoyer. "We have $75,000. We need $160,000 for our share of the
project. It's kind of crucial that we get this matter concluded."
Dunagan and Hoyer said the optimum time for such a conclusion in the
$160,000 drive would be this Autumn, "either September or October, if
possible," says Dunagan.
This is why Friends of Monahans Sandhills State Park have chosen to make
a public plea for the dollars that would allow work to start as soon as
Under the plan, Sandhills Friends would provide $160,000 to be applied
specifically toward a $320,000 upgrade of the visitors center which the
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has named for the Dunagans "to honor
their vision in getting the park established in 1957 and their continued
support through the years." The balance of the funds will come from
Texas Parks and Wildlife. One focus will be exhibits on dune dynamics,
West Texas Desert habitat and artifacts collected in the Permian Basin.
Goals for the J. Conrad and Kathlyn C. Dunagan Visitors Center include
improving building access, developing interpretive exhibits and
programs, remodeling the interior, improving energy efficiency and
planning, designing and producing exhibits on the history and the
ecology of the sandhills. But the center is not all that is destined for
Monahans Sandhills State Park. The other work scheduled at the park
includes main entrance parking, a new exit, an equestrian area,
resurfacing of existing roads and a campground loop connection.
Estimated costs for this are $435,000. It starts, the Friends note, with
a $10 donation to Friends of Monahans Sandhills State Park, PO Box 387,
Monahans TX 79756.
TAAS scores up
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Monahans High School sophomores accelerated their scores on the Texas
Assessment of Academic Skills Test this year, eclipsing the achievements
of past Lobo sophomore classes by several points in each category.
That was the bottom line on the TAAS score results released on Tuesday,
April 29. The TAAS test which the sophomores took in February was the
so-called Exit Level test. High School students first take this test at
the sophomore level. If they fail, they have the opportunity to retake
the examination several times before their senior year. The exit test
must be passed before a student can graduate from a public school in
"The steady increase in TAAS scores has continued for the fourth
consecutive year," says a statement released by Cliff Stephens,
superintendent of the Monahans Wickett Pyote School District. "More
students are passing on their first attempt. The reading scores have
jumped from 70 percent in 1994 up to 86 percent. Mathematics scores
leaped from 48 percent in '94 to 71 percent this year. Writing has come
from 85 percent in 1994 to 97 percent this year."
Says Monahans High School Principal Sam Atwood:
"The most dramatic improvement this year took place in math - an eleven
Atwood also notes he is "very pleased with the decrease in the disparity
of scores among the various subgroups in the Monahans student
More from Stephens:
"High school officials praise the efforts of students, teachers and
parents who have worked so hard to improve the testing results. The
community's overall commitment to education supports the efforts of the
teachers and makes the school system great.
"The positive TAAS results come on the heels of a variety of recent
achievements at Monahans High School including state qualifiers in One
Act Play, headline writing, debate and editorial writing."
Atwood, in an accolade for the seniors of 1997 as well as the
academically scoring sophomores, notes:
"All seniors, who are academically on track for graduation, have passed
the TAAS test."
Foret new hospital CFO
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Robert Foret, a veteran in health care financial management, is the new
chief financial officer of Ward Memorial Hospital in Monahans, reports
Ward Memorial Administrator William O'Brien.
Foret's appointment was effective on Monday, April 28. Foret will
succeed Jesse Saucedo, who resigned as hospital financial officer to go
into private practice as an accountant. Saucedo said he would stay on
board until the hospital's new computer system goes live. He plans to
leave on Thursday, May 1. The new computers are scheduled to be up now
on May 16, says O'Brien.
Foret most recently was director of fiscal services at Columbia Bayshore
Medical Center in Houston. He has been associate director of finance for
the University of Texas Medical Branch Home Health Agency in Galveston.
He also has been with the General Health System in Baton Rouge, La. and
St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. Foret is certified by the
Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Shafter is more than ghost town
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Warning: The Surgeon General of the United States has determined that
entering these environs may be dangerous to your health.
This sign might well be posted below the one on the highway which says
Shafter is a ghost town. By the usual definition, it is not because
there are citizens here and they own property. They are an independent
people who resent unwarranted poking around the remains of what once was
a booming silver town on Cibilo Creek about 20 miles North of Presidio
and only a half-mile from hell.
There are living people here.
And even, more importantly, ghosts do walk when the sun heads down
behind the mountain and the wind begins to croon through the old
graveyard of wooden crosses which carry no names, past the jail which
still stands (somewhat appropriate) and in and around and over and
through the ruins of an old Texican's fortress of adobe and stone that
marks the hill as well as those classical ruins of Greece and Asia Minor.
In these mountains, in this high desert, are the crumbled remains of the
massive fort built in 1854 by Milton Faver for protection against the
Apache. They must of sat in those hills and laughed as they watched the
Now the Apache are gone. Milton Faver is gone. The wraiths of both still
may wander the halls and rooms of Faver's fort, some of which has been
obviously mined for building materials in some of the still standing
buildings of Shafter.
Faver's fort remains, still a wondrous sight. The Apache's mountains
From the walls of Faver's fort, you can look into the Apache's mountains
where the ghostsdefinitely walk. They hide a secret of blood and
plunder, death and thunder, politics and guns.
And what always speaks of blood and plunder, death and thunder, politics
Gold accented with minted silver, gold stolen by a man who preyed on the
peones and himself was brought down by one of two men who once stood for
the people of Mexico against the plutocrats and the thieves in velvet
who haunted the politics of Mexico City.
Those two men were Emiliano Zapata, the savior of the South, and Pancho
Villa, the savior of the North. Both men were murdered by the guns of
trusted friends, hired by the plutocrats. As soon as Villa and Zapata
died, the government propaganda machines began to grind and attempted to
portray these two as brigands who killed only for their own gain. The
propaganda mills resulted in conviction by the historians, never by the
But our tale here is of Pancho Villa and Gen. Orozco, whose first name
it appears is lost in the tales told around the campfires, but who is
listed by the so-called historians as a champion and hero while Villa is
vilified by the rich and loved as a heroic champion by the poor.
This then is a tale of revolution and greed. This is a story of the
Mexican revolution of 1910 (the year in which the silver mines started
to play out at Shafter. They would be more or less gone in another six
years) and a revolution that spilled North across the Rio Grande and
reached into Shafter.
By 1914, the dictator Diaz had been deposed and replaced by Madero, who
called himself president of all Mexico.
Madero, whose fist in the North had been Villa, was killed by Huerta,
Villa, who had been living on funds supplied by his patron Madero in El
Paso, once again picked up the rifle.
Villa's target was Orozco who stood between him and one of his principal
bases of support at Ojinaga, just across the Rio Grande from Presidio
and where today Villa is remembered in the songs of the street as well
as an Ojinaga museum dedicated to his exploits.
Villa moved through Texas in a diversion that led him through Valentine
and Shafter through Presidio into Ojinaga where his screaming cavalry
and Irish mercenaries hit Orozco and shattered him.
Orozco had been stealing gold and silver from the government of Mexico
and its people for years. An associate once told of going with Orozco
North to Shafter where, in a mountain there, he had added to a secret
cache of gold and silver. That horde was in an abandoned mining shaft
overlooking Shafter. The shaft was in a mountain. No, we will not tell
you the mountain's name.
Running from Villa, Orozco, it is said, was carrying more gold and
silver plus 80,000 American dollars in greenbacks. Orozco rode hard to
Shafter where friends he bought with the greenbacks hid him from Villa.
One night, he slipped away to the treasure shaft and banked his gold and
silver one more time in the mountains. Living now off the greenbacks,
Orozco returned to Mexico in an attempt to link with some of Huerta's
supporters, Pancho Villa caught Orozco. The general was running and
screaming from Villa when Villa shot Orozco down like a paisano for an
evening's supper. Orozco never revealed , some say, where his treasure
could be found.
Some suggest Villa did learn of its location and reclaimed the gold and
silver for the maintenance of his troops. No one, it seems, really
knows. It would be correct to say the ghosts know. It may even be the
ghosts have spoken to the living.
Ghosts walk you know in Shafter. Ghosts walk in Faver's old fort and in
the streets. Somewhere in those mountains is the treasure of Orozco
guarded by the ghosts of tyrants. Villa did not take it Ghosts know
where the treasure lies and they talk. Listen to the wind teach its
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JACK R. SMITH
Jack R. Smith, 73, died April 21, 1997 at the VA hospital in Big Spring.
Born May 4, 1923 in Spur, he was a resident of Monahans for 22
years, working as a self-employed mechanic at Monahans Garage. He was a
member of the VFW.
Survivors include his wife, Jimmie G. Smith; two sons, Richard
Smith of Midland and Don Smith of Monahans; a daughter, Kay Smith, also
of Monahans; two brothers, Darrell Smith of Spur and Bill Smith of
Artesia, NM; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Services for Edgar Bryan, 91, of Flora, Ill. were held April 23
with burial at Elmwood Cemetery in Flora.
Mr. Bryan was born July 5, 1905 and died April 20 at Clay County
Hospital. He was a life-long resident of Flora.
Survivors include his wife, Pauline; two daughters, Gale Birkes of
Monahans and Wilma Laws of Flora, Ill; three grandchildren and four
ROBERT F. HELLINGHAUSEN
Services for Robert F. Hellinghausen, 72, of Midland, were held
Friday at St. Ann's Catholic Church with Monsignor T.J. Murphy
officiating. Interment was in Resthaven Memorial Park under direction of
Ellis Funeral Home.
Mr. Hellinghausen was born July 22, 1924 in Breckenridge and died
April 23, 1997 in a Midland hospital. A graduate of the University of
Tulsa, he played in the Sugar Bowl, Oil Bowl and Orange Bowl in 1945 and
was a member of the 1947 college All Stars. He was inducted into the
Tulsa Hall of Fame in Feb., 1997.
He married Su Derrick Jan. 5, 1946 and they moved to Monahans where
they lived until May of 1968. He operated Cen-Tex Supply, Inc. Until
1971. He is a member of the SFOA, Knights of Columbus and St. Ann's
Survivors include his wife, Ann; six children, Greg H Hellinghausen
of Austin, Sonia Belcher, Jill McDaniel, Hillary Hellinghausen, Sid
Crouch and Marc Hellinghausen, all of Midland; a sister, Betty Lauer of
Granbury; a brother, Don M. Hellinghausen of Midland; 13 grandchildren;
and five great-grandchildren.
HAROLD L. THOMAS
Services for Harold L. Thomas, 70, of Corpus Christi, were held
Tuesday in Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel with Gary Lowe and Les
Arche officiating. Entombment was in Memory Gardens.
Mr. Thomas was born Aug. 26, 1926 in Olney to Robert F. and Vida
Joy (Martin) Thomas. He died April 26, 1997 in a Corpus Christi
hospital. He was retired from Valley Gas Transmission Company and
attended the Church of Christ.
Survivors include his wife, Josephine; two sons, Johnny Thomas of
Tennessee Colony and Ronald Thomas of Monahans; two daughters, Rita Fry
of Sinton and Debra Wilhite of Corpus Christi; three sisters, Mildred
Adams of Lovelady, Lela Walsh of Archer City and Laverne Young of
Arlington; 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
BOBBY G. THURMAN, SR.
Graveside services for Bobby Gayle Thurman, Sr. were held Sunday in
Dublin Liveoak Cemetery under direction of Harrell Funeral Home of
Dublin with Rev. Bill Campbell officiating.
Mr. Thurman was born April 23, 1935 in Gorman to Elmer Allen and
Cora Velma (Stackhouse) Thurman. He died April 25, 1997. He was a
carpenter and had lived in Waco a year and a half, moving there from
Dublin. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and a Baptist.
Survivors include two sons, Bobby Gayle Thurman, Jr. of Monahans
and Ray Thurman of LaPorte; a daughter, Dollie Jo Thurman of Star; a
sister, Imogene Hall of Dublin and four grandchildren.
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Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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