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May 15, 1997

Money argument spills outside court

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Ward County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 Monday morning, May 12, to
accept a bid from First State Bank to act as the county's official
depository for the next two years.
First State holds the current county banking contract.
Renewal of the contract with First State did not go unnoticed at the
meeting by Mark Gatzki, president of First National Bank.
After Commissioner Bill Welch offered a motion to accept First State's
bid, Gatzki questioned the commissioners' action to renew the
depository contract with First State..
"I don't understand how you can vote this way? First National is
offering you (interest-bearing accounts) with a lower minimum balance
and higher rates on those interest payments."
None of the commissioners offered Gatzki an explanation, but went ahead
and approved the measure 4-1 with Judge Sam G. Massey the lone
dissenting vote.
In explaining his opposition to the measure following the meeting,
Judge Massey said:
"I'm like Mr. Gatzki. I, too, am curious on what the commissioners based
their decision. I voted against the (First State) bid because it
appeared to me that First National was offering a better deal for the
When contacted by the Monahans News, Commissioners Bill Welch, Don
Creech and Julian Florez all said their decisions were collectively
based upon information given to them by County Treasurer Nell Berry
during the meeting.
Following the meeting, First National's Gatzki was more explicit in
voicing his perplexity over the situation.
"First National was by far the superior bid. It's all there in the
proposal," the First National chief said.
"I never heard a justification for this action from the commissioners
when I asked them for one in the meeting... if there is some way for me
to improve on my bidding so that I can be more competitive next year, I
wish they would tell me how.
"The commissioners need to show me how First State's bid is a better
" I'll say it was certainly a competitive bid, but I want them to show
me how it is a better bid than First National's... I don't think they
can," the banker said.
In a post-meeting phone interview, County Treasurer Berry said she
supported the commissioners on the action and would advise them to do
the same if asked to do so again.
In essence, Berry told the court that because the county's banking is
done on a volume basis with money moving rapidly from the state
investment fund - known as Tex-Pool - into local county accounts, the
interest rates proposed by both institutions should not be a determining
factor in selecting a depository.
"You could throw a dart at either one [of the two banks]," she said as
commissioners pondered the matter. "The county money is not in those
local banks long enough for the difference in interest rates to warrant
changing banks... basically it's six of one, half-dozen of another,"
Berry said.
Gatzki was also dismayed by the county passing up the chance to have
interest-bearing accounts with a minimum balance of $10,0000 - $5,000
less that the $15,000 demanded by First National.
Berry dismissed the importance of the minimum balance by saying the
county did not have that many accounts which would meet the requirements.
She also emphasized that although the county has a substantial
inventory on hand of pre-printed checks for First State, it should not
be brought into consideration when awarding the bid.
"The costs and accounting headaches of switching banks just did not
equal the money we would have realized by going with First National,"
Berry said.
When told of Berry's comments, Gatzki replied, "Well, if that be the
case, why did they invite me to bid in the first place?"
County Attorney Kevin Acker says law governing the acceptance of sealed
proposals is "somewhat vague" on which bids must be accepted by an
governing entity.
"The law does require that counties to accept the `best or most
reasonable'... but, to define most reasonable is opening up a whole can
of worms," Acker notes..

Lover kills rival husband

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Joseph Bailey McShane III, a Continental
airline pilot whose family had extensive oil and financial interests in
Ward County and the Permian Basin, was shot to death on Saturday night,
May 10, investigators report.
McShane was shot seven times in the chest with a nine-millimeter pistol.
Officers arrested Mark Jonathan Evans, 44, a citizen of the United
Kingdom who listed an address in Albuquerque, N. M.
Wednesday, May 14, Evans was charged with first degree murder. He is
being held without bail in the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.
Investigators say Evans knew McShane's wife, Maureen, but apparently
did not know McShane.
In fact, according to an affidavit filed in a Colorado district court,
Evans confessed to the killing. He says it was the bizarre climax of a
love affair between him and McShane's wife which had begun in Peru in
1995 when both were visiting that country. In that affidavit, Evans says
he divorced his wife to be with Maureen McShane.
Mr. and Mrs. McShane had been estranged but were in the process of
reconciliation, says an investigator and Evans' court affidavit. Evans
says Maureen was attempting the reconciliation because of the children.
Evans was identified as a suspect in the shooting after officers talked
with Maureen McShane at her job several miles from the scene of the
murder. Evans says in the affidavit he had talked with Mrs. McShane on
Wednesday, May 7, and had driven to Colorado Springs on Saturday. When
McShane answered the door, Evans says he shot him.
Police Sgt. Fletcher Howard says McShane's wife, a pharmacist, was at
work when her husband was killed at 9:47 p.m. when he opened the front
Evans drove up to an officer directing traffic about two blocks from the
McShane home and surrendered about midnight.
McShane's eight-year-old son, Bailey, called the police. Bailey and his
three-year-old brother, Shannon, were at home when their father was
shot. When patrol cars arrived, they found McShane's body at the
entrance to his home in what officers described as an upscale
residential area on the Southwest side of Colorado Springs at the base
of Cheyenne Mountain. Colorado Springs is about 50 miles South of
The McShane's had purchased the home last year.
McShane was born in Monahans 36 years ago, notes Richard Hoyer, a long
time friend of the McShane family and a former mayor of Monahans. The
McShanes lived across the street from Hoyer for nearly 30 years.
The elder McShane "started in the early 50s as an independent oil
engineer and amassed a fortune," notes Hoyer.
McShane III was graduated from high school in Monahans and later
attended the University of Texas.
Hoyer says McShane's parents, Joseph B. McShane Jr., and wife, Marie,
were on vacation in Ireland when they learned of the incident. They have
since returned to Texas. The McShane had moved from Monahans about three
years ago, Hoyer recalls. McShane Jr. still is a member of the Board at
the Kermit National Bank and comes to the area for that meeting about
once a month. McShane III had earned his first pilot's license at the
age of 16 while a student at Monahans High School. He was a member of
St. Paul's Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, the Lone Star Flight
Museum, the Texas State Aircraft Pooling Board and was liaison between
the Confederate Air Force and the United States Air Force.

Boys want equal rights in dress code

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Freshman Will Wheeler Tuesday night, May 13, asked the trustees of the
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District to give boys the same rights as
girls in the Monahans High School Dress Code.
At issue was the requirement that males keep their shirts tucked into
their trousers, a stipulation that does not extend to female students
and their shirts or blouses.
School Board President Johnny White told Wheeler, who was dressed
professionally in black suit and tie, that the board would consider the
points he made in his presentation to the board.
Wheeler presented a petition to the board on which there were 256
signatures - seven from parents of students in the school district and
two from junior high students. The remainder, Wheeler said, were those
of Monahans High School students.
The pleading he presented to the school board was entitled:
"Petition to keep shirts untucked."
From the preamble to the petition:
"We acknowledge and respect the importance of the dress code and agree
to a certain extent. We also feel that if you tuck in your shirt, it
does not increase your intelligence quotient."
Wheeler wondered if enacting a code that applies only to males and not
to females might be a violation of the Bill of Rights and the equal
protection clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions.
The freshman student also noted that it appears many students are not
following the "tuck in your shirt" provisions of the code.
White thanked Wheeler for voicing his concerns to the board.

Normal rainfall in the works

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These last few weeks Monahans has received rain, rain and a little more
Ward County just might, notes County Agent Andy Stewart, receive the
so-called 11 inches of rain supposed to be average for the area this
It seems as though every evening clouds appear. Thunder rumbles. Water
floods the streets. Fields turn green. Grass grows. The desert blooms..
Rain fall totals this year promise to bring an end to the seven-year
drought in Ward County.
However, notes Stewart, is it enough?
How much rain does it take to recover from a drought? Simple logic shows
us that until effects have healed, the cause is not gone.
If you break your arm it is still broken until it is healed, or until my
body has repaired itself. The same is true with a drought.
If you lose 15 cows to the drought then regardless of the amounts of
rain, you have not recovered from the drought until the cows are back.
It breaks down to simple economics.
During a drought, the rancher must buy feed for the cows. The less
grass the more feed must be bought.
Spending too much on feed means one options is to cull the herd. For
those who are rancher lingo deficient, culling is thinning the herd.
Maybe if old Grey has not produced a good calf in a few years, she
should be taken to market. if all ranchers are suffering from the
drought, then there will be 10,000 head to sell instead of the usual
Buyers are happy because they decrease the price per cow. If cows go for
$30 per hundredweight and the cow is a drought-lean 300 pounds, that is
only $90 per cow. During a time of a drought a rancher could paying up
to $700 on each cow for feed, which means a loss of up to $610 per cow.
This process is called a cow cycle.
Until the price of cattle comes up and it takes a rancher less money to
fatten up cattle, they still suffer from the drought which means that
although the grass is green and the roads are wet the drought continues.

Tonight's the night

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Thursday, May 15, is the day downtown Monahans merchants and business
throw open their doors and sponsor a progressive shopping spree through
20 businesses.
The promotion is a cooperative alliance between the Chamber of Commerce
and Main Street-Monahans. Most of those taking part in the project are
members of both organizations.
According to a communique from the Chamber Executive Director Tammy
Swigert and Main Street manager Suzi Blair:
"We will host a Progressive Business After Hours on Thursday, May 15,
from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Shoppers will start their 'progressive' move to
the downtown businesses at the First National Bank. Here they will
receive their listing of participating businesses and registration
Each participating business will have a special box in which shoppers
may place their registration slips.
More from the Main Street-Chamber statement:
"At 6:15 p.m., the boxes will be collected and taken to the First State
Bank where the winner(s) must be present to win the vouchers for the
Main Street Money. The voucher for the Main Street Money can be won by
anyone but can only be redeemed in one or more store(s) that
participated in the 'After Hours,' Thursday, May 15. The more businesses
visited by the shopper, the more chances he/she will have to win.
Remember, the winner(s) must be present at the First State Bank to
receive that voucher."
In addition an additional $50 voucher will be provided by the Chamber.
Merchants also plan to provide individual promotions.
Swigert notes there will be refreshment at First National where the
tour begins and at First State when it ends..

Grandfalls sets flea market

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Grandfalls Chamber of Commerce will host its annual flea market on
Saturday, May 17, in downtown Grandfalls, according to a report from the
Grandfalls chamber.
The festivities start at 8 a.m.
From the announcement:
"Join us for fun and visit food booths, a 'white elephant' sale and
consider participating in a raffle. Space is available for those
interested in selling their own 'stuff' or products. The fee is waived
for nonprofit organizations.'
Proceeds from the annual Grandfalls flea market go to fund chamber
activities throughout the year, including various civic and volunteer
"The event is on the Main Street in town. Proceeds from the event enable
the Chamber of Commerce to promote and support Grandfalls through
endorsing the 4-H clubs, landscaping the town and promoting local
business and volunteer organizations."
Grandfalls is 19 miles South of Monahans on Texas Route 18. More
information, call (915) 547-2210, 547-2950 or 547-2036

Fun night May 16

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Bingo, hot dogs, snow cones, nachos, homemade burritos, homemade ice
cream and cake and there's more.
Gensler Elementary in Wickett is having its annual Fun Night on Friday,
May 16, from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
From a statement released by the school:
"We will have a raffle for a 19-inch color TV/VCR combination. Tickets
can be purchased anytime before the drawing which will be at 8 p.m."
Proceeds from the annual Gensler Elementary fund raiser are used to
purchase accelerated reader books.
Says the statement:
"We have one class who has read all the books we have for this program
and we need more . . . everyone is invited to come.

Half-cent sales tax a go

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AUSTIN - Texas Gov. George Bush Friday, May 9, made property tax relief
for residents of Winkler County and the city of Monahans official.
He signed special legislation into law that allows special half-cent
sales tax elections last year in Winkler County and Monahans, the county
seat of Ward County, to be validated by the two governing bodies. The
tax will be effective on Oct. 1. The special sales tax for property tax
relief was invalidated by the state because the sales taxes approved in
Monahans and Winkler County caused them to exceed the legal cap on 5,000
acres of Winkler County annexed by Monahans in the 1950s. Chili pays off
for state school

All proceeds from the May 3 CASI-sanctioned chili cooking competition at
Aunt Jackie's in Pyote go to the West Texas State School, says a school
From the statement: "Truly, the Pyote Chili and Barbecue Cookoff "cooked
up great benefits for WTSS youth. This was possible, thanks to the
extraordinary generosity of Mrs. Connie Zocher, her partners at Aunt
Jackie's Place, and the many friends who gave their time and donations."
The statement is a thank you to all that participated.

Get your fishing rods here

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Weihai Guangwei Fishing Tackle Group has opened its United States
Southern Regional Sales Office in Monahans.
The announcement was in a statement from the Monahans Office of Economic
From that communique:
"The company manufactures carbon and fiber fishing rods for such
customers as Walker International of Michigan and Sufix USA Inc.
"Currently these rods are manufactured in China and shipped to
wholesalers throughout the United States."
Says Weiming Liu, the United States Manager for Weihai Guangwei Fishing
"We wanted our sales office to be located in the Central Time Zone for
shipping purposes, have access to a major Interstate (I-20) also for
shipping purposes."
Liu also says locating the sales office in Monahans was based on the
cost of living and development in Ward County.
The fishing tackle group wanted to be in Texas and Monahans was the
choice because here "the cost of operating the office would be lower
than in other Texas cities."Watch for students

Students in Monahans schools will be working along the roads and
highways next week picking up trash in a prelude to the Clean Up, Paint
Up, Fix Up Day Saturday, May 24, in Monahans.
Jack Grant, director of the Chamber of Commerce Beautify Monahans
Campaign, urges all motorists to use caution.


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Founder of Hollen Electric dies

Services for Claude Ward Hollen, 82, were held Wednesday in Harkey
Funeral Chapel officiated by Rev. Barry Klempnauer. Masonic graveside
services followed in Monahans Memorial Cemetery.

Mr. Hollen was born Aug. 13, 1914 in Horsehshoe Run, W.V. and died
May 12, 1997 at Ward Memorial Hospital. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he
came to Monahans in 1946. He was self-employed in the electrical
business and a Baptist.
He married Loveta Jones in 1980 in Monahans.
Survivors include his wife; a son, Henry "Hank" Hollen; two
daughters, Claudia Caraway of San Angelo and Christy Kestler of San
Antonio; a brother, Guy Hollen of Ontario, CA and four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Clyton Hollen.

Juan Esparza services Saturday

Services for Juan Esparza were held Saturday at Harkey Funeral
Chapel officiated by Rev. Gordon Cox. Burial was in Monahans Memorial
Mr. Esparza was born July 24, 1928 in Dallas and died May 7, 1997
at his Monahans home. He was retired and attended a Pentecostal church.
Survivors include two sons, Juan Esparza, Jr. and Joe Funetez; two
daughters, Genevia Garcia and Yolanda Pacheco, all of Fort Stockton;
four brothers, Armando Esparza of Abilene, Jose Esparza of San Angelo,
frank Esparza of Visilia, Ca., Thomas Esparza of Deming, NM; eight
sisters, Manuela Valesquez and Teresa Velasquez, both of Crane, Pilar
Salazar of El Paso, Angie Holguin of Shafter, Ca., Rosa Primera of San
Antonio, Antonio Montez of Garland, Martina Coburrubio and Connie Plata,
both of Odessa and 13 grandchildren.

Former resident dies in Colorado

Services for former Monahans resident, Joseph Bailey McShane, III,
36, of Austin and Colorado Springs, Co., are scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Thursday (today) at St. Lukes on the Lake in Austin with Rev. Roland
Timberlake officiating. Arrangements are by Cook-Walden Funeral Home in

Mr. McShane died Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was a member of
St. Paul's Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, the Lone Star Flight
Museum, the Texas State Aircraft Pooling Board and was liaison for the
Confederate Air Force and the United States Air Force. A pilot for
Continental Airlines, he was a licensed pilot at age 16.
Survivors include his wife, Maureen Beiter McShane; two sons,
Bailey McShane and Shannon Kelly McShane, all of Colorado Springs; his
parents, Marie and Joe Mc-Shane, Jr., of Lakeway; a brother, Tim McShane
of Houston; and a sister, Keven McShane of Austin.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lone Star Flight Museum
in Galveston.

Loretta Self services held

Services for Loretta Self, 39, were held Tuesday at Scott's Funeral
Home Chapel with Rev. Don Grogan officiating.
Mrs. Self was born Dec. 29, 1957 in Monahans and died May 10 near
her home in the Slater community. She grew up and attended school in
Survivors include a daughter, Lana Glenn of Slater Community; her
parents, Boyd and Frankie Sprouse of Baird; three sisters, Delores Lewis
of Odessa, Judy Joseph of Austin and Brenda Granger of Lafayette, La.
and two brothers, Larry Sprouse of Monahans and Kenneth Sprouse of
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmie Ray Self in 1996.

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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