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PECOS, June 2, 1997 - Once again law enforcement officials are asking
for help in a missing person case.
Julio Cesar Cantu, 24, was reported missing on May 21 in San Juan, Tx.
His vehicle was found in Reeves County around 4 p.m. May 31.
"We don't know if he was from San Juan or not, because his truck had
Idaho license," said Sheriff's Deputy Cesar Urias.
"We've talked with several people in Idaho about this young man, but
haven't received much information from them," said Urias.
The vehicle, a 1991 Ford Ranger, was discovered 25 miles north of Pecos
on U.S. 285, then about five miles east on county road 428, according to
Ranch workers tending to some cattle in that area discovered the vehicle
and reported it to the sheriff's department.
Investigating officials found a dead dog inside the truck on the
The animal had tried to claw his way out of the sun-heated vehicle,
according to Urias.
"With the windows rolled up, there was no way he could get out," said
A horseback search within a five-mile radius of the area was conducted
along with a plane search within a 15-mile radius. Reeves County
Sheriff's Posse conducted the ground search, according to Urias.
"We didn't discover any information that was useful to us and we also
talked to several people who live in that area, but again nothing new
was uncovered," said Urias.
"I think this man was originally from Texas, but was going from Idaho to
San Juan, Texas," said Urias.
At this point officials don't think this case is related to another
which occurred recently where an abandoned car was found off of Duval
Road going towards Freeport McMoRan.
"We don't think these two cases are related; this other vehicle was
found in the northern part of the county," said Urias.
Urias said he had spoken to a local police officer who remembered
stopping this particular vehicle and running a license check on the
"This happened about a month ago, or two or three weeks ago, according
to the officer, and he said he remembered stopping him and checking his
license," said Urias.
The Texas Rangers are currently in town getting prints off the vehicle.
"We're going to get lab tests out of Austin, they're here to process the
vehicle which was impounded for this purpose," said Urias.
At this point investigators don't know if Cantu is still alive or dead,
according to Urias.
"We spoke to individuals who indicate he was headed to South Texas, but
that's all we know about him at this point," said Urias.
Cantu's wife, however, is a resident of Idaho, according to Urias.
Officials have spoken to his wife, but have not received any useful
information about his sudden disappearance.
"The pickup was in an area that was really deep in the county road,"
A pickup was needed to get into the area, so the vehicle itself might
have been hidden, according to Urias.
"They might have tried to hide it, because it was in an area where it
was difficult for cars to get in," he said.
Officials are asking that if anyone has information about the
whereabouts of this young man to contact the Reeves County Sheriff's Department at 445-4901.
PECOS, June 2, 1997 - Room 118 at Crockett Middle School will have a new
occupant this fall for the first time since the school opened 32 years
That's because Friday was the final day of class for long-time
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD teacher John Stickels, who retired after 39
years on the job.
"All of those have been in junior high," he said on his final day of
class. "I taught for seven years at East Pecos Junior High, which is now
Zavala, and the rest has been right here in this room.
Stickels arrived in Pecos out of Abilene Christian University in 1958,
and since then, he has seen not only his three children, but his first
grandchild, Amanda, come through Crockett Middle School.
"Amanda's been here, but I'd didn't have her in my class," Stickels said.
Along with teaching for 39 years at Crockett and Zavala, Stickels also
served as coach for 25 of those years. Among those he coached was his
youngest son, David, who went on to earn all-state honors as an
offensive and defensive lineman for Pecos, then played for Texas Tech in
"When David got to be a senior (at Tech in 1987) is when I got out of
coaching," Stickels said.
While Stickels will be completely retired from teaching, he'll still be
connected in two ways to the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.
His wife, Cecil, will continue to teach half a day at Pecos High School,
while he'll remain as one of the district's transit bus drivers.
"I'm going to drive the football team bus, and I'm probably going to
drive some other things, too," he said. "I'm also going to take care of
the 4-H/FFA program for the grandkids (Amanda and Jack), but outside of that, I don't know what my plans are."
AUSTIN (AP) June 2, 1997 - - Texas has suffered five major droughts in
the past 60 years, but after each one, the Legislature was unwilling to
do anything to prepare for the next possible water shortage -until now.
One year after a drought that cracked Texas farmland, spurred local
water-saving measures and dried up $5 billion from the state's economy,
the Legislature on Sunday voted to approve a sweeping water conservation
``This is milestone legislation that will be at the very heart of our
legacy,'' said Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who made the bill the Senate's top
priority by numbering it Senate Bill 1.
Bullock called the bill protection of ``the resource most vital to
future generations of Texans,'' adding that it ``signals the beginning
of a new era in which vision will prevail over long-standing differences
and territorial feuding.''
The Senate voted 31-0 and the House voted 140-4 to adopt a compromise
bill reached by a committee of members from both chambers. The bill now
goes to Gov. George W. Bush, who is expected to sign it into law.
Bill sponsors say the measure isn't so much about the present as it is
about the future.
One of the bill's most important provisions is a data collection
requirement designed to pinpoint where and how much water the state has
in an effort to develop ways to conserve and maximize future use.
A constitutional amendment that will go before voters in November would
consolidate $1.2 billion in existing bonding authority under the Texas
Water Development Board to help fund local water projects.
``Voters should go to the polls and vote for this because there is not a
more important topic than water,'' said Sen. J.E. ``Buster'' Brown, the
Senate sponsor of the bill. ``A predictable water supply is a key
element to the economic viability of Texas.''
Rep. Ron Lewis, D-Mauriceville, the House sponsor, told that 150-member
chamber before the vote: ``I truly believe that we have done something
that our children will be proud of in the years to come.''
For decades, the Legislature has been unable to develop a coordinated
water plan, for the most part, because the state is so diverse and the
areas that had water weren't interested in agreeing to any regulations
that would force them to surrender it.
But last year's drought, combined with the priority given the
legislation by Bullock, helped bring all parties together on the bill.
Bullock said he was tired of Texas being listed as one of only three of
the 12 Western states without a water conservation plan.
The Water Development Board produced a study that said Texas faces urban
water shortages by the year 2010 that could result in up to a $40
billion loss to the state's economy.
``With the state's population expected to double by the year 2040, good
rains and damage control won't cut it if our water runs dry,'' Bullock
Under the bill, local water districts and irrigation districts would
submit plans to a regional group designated by the Water Development
Board. A committee representing the regional group would then come up
with a water conservation plan for the region.
The combination of the regional plans would form a statewide plan.
All water districts in a region that failed to produce a conservation
plan would be prevented from qualifying for state funding.
The bill doesn't include any new fees for residential consumption of
water and doesn't affect the ``right of capture,'' which says property
owners can pump as much water from their land as they desire.
The bill does, however, include increased penalties - up to $5,000 a day
- for someone who illegally pumps someone else's water.
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission would be authorized,
in times of emergency, to issue temporary permits that would allow
pumping of water from one basin to another for up to 120 days.
Outside of the emergency provisions, the bill severely cracks down on
interbasin transfers, by far the most contentious issue in the bill.
The legislation includes a provision that would make water rights
purchased in any future interbasin transfer the least ranking rights in
its particular basin. That would mean in times of drought, the
least-ranking water rights would be the first surrendered to those with
senior water rights.
Rep. Robert Puente, D-San Antonio, said the junior water rights
provision would take away all incentives for interbasin transfers, which
is one way cities, such as Corpus Christi, are getting their drinking
``No one would want to buy into a transfer if they knew that the water
they were buying would be the first to be taken away in times of
drought,'' Puente said. ``I hope in two years we will revisit this issue
and realize we made a mistake.''
San Antonio figures to be somewhat of a loser in the bill. The Alamo
City, which has twice voted down referendums to build a reservoir, was
taking steps to pump in water from other parts of Central Texas. Puente
said those efforts would likely be halted.
Several lawmakers voiced little sympathy for San Antonio, saying the city should now get serious about building a reservoir.
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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
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