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June 17, 1997
Burden on tax rolls becoming man's dream home
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By CARA ALLIGOOD
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a three-part series about one man's
pursuit of the American dream. With the help and encouragement of his
family and friends, a local man proposes to buy an abandoned house on
Pecos' east side. The east side has a mostly Hispanic population, and is
viewed by many as an area of low incomes and high crime. However, not
everyone sees the east side in those terms and nor does everyone look
for a way out of that side of town.
PECOS, June 17, 1997 - Salvador Carrera, III, a lifelong Pecos resident,
has offered to buy property on the east side of town that has been on
the delinquent tax rolls for a long time. His proposal has already been
approved by two of the three local taxing entities, the City Council and
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah I.S.D. Board of Education. He has also received
approval from the Reeves County Commissioners. His final hurdle is the
Reeves County Hospital District Board, which meets tonight at 6 p.m. in
the classroom at the hospital.
The property at 310 South Mesquite Street includes a two-story house, a
laundromat and a lounge. Carrera made his offer on the house and the
land that it sits on only.
Carrera is currently employed by Flying J and is a volunteer fireman.
Carrera offered $1,490 for the house and land, and his offer has met
with approval every step of the way so far. He did not include the
laundromat and lounge in his current bid because he cannot afford the
costs of either renovation or demolition plus insurance on those pieces
of the property in addition to the house at this time.
Carrera said that he was told the most resistance to his proposal would
come from the school board, which is owed the lion's share of the back
taxes on the property, $14,899.15. However, the school board's
secretary, Daisy Roquemore, made two compelling arguments in favor of
approving the sale of the property.
First, Roquemore said that the sale would at least get the property back
on the active tax rolls, which would cause it to generate at least some
revenue, because it is in foreclosure status right now and not bringing
in any tax dollars at all.
She also pointed out that vandals have been breaking into the property
and causing damage. "If it isn't sold," she said, "vandalism will
continue," and the property will eventually be worth nearly nothing at
all. The school board unanimously approved the sale of the property to
Carrera at their meeting last Thursday evening.
Carrera was first given the idea to try to buy the property by his three
brothers, Pedro, Monse and Salvador Carrera II. "My brothers told me
about the property and encouraged me to buy it," he said.
"I went down to the appraisal district, and they were very helpful,"
Carrera said about the process he had to follow in order to submit his
bid on the property.
"They went out of their way to dig old information out of their files to
get me the information I needed," he said.
"The main person I want to thank is Lydia Prieto at the tax office. She
explained step-by-step everything I needed to do to make my proposal and
she's the one who got my offer onto the city council's agenda."
Carrera continued, "She's the one (Prieto) who inspired me to go through
with it when I got discouraged after hearing about other people who had
bid on this property and been turned down."
After being told how to go about the process, Carrera submitted his
proposal to all three taxing entities and now awaits the final judgment.
Carrera offered to buy this particular property because he wants to stay
on the east side of Pecos.
His mother, Eliza Carrera, has lived at the corner of 7th and Orange
streets for over 30 years, he says. He was raised on the east side of
Pecos, and says he has even turned down job offers that would have
required him to move away from Pecos. "This is my home and this is where
I want to stay," said Carrera.
Because Carrera has always lived on the east side, he knows most of the
people there "if not by name, by face." He said that he feels most
comfortable on the east side because he feels those neighbors are also
"A lot of the people here on the east side have a good, hospitable
quality to them," said Carrera. "They're always willing to make a
Carrera does not want to move from his old stomping grounds, not even
across town. He feels safe in the neighborhood he grew up in, and
doesn't let the area's reputation for having more crime than other areas
of town bother him.
The three brothers who encouraged Carrera to buy the property are all in
the construction business. They have offered to help him with the work
that needs to be done to make the house livable, if he buys the
necessary materials. Their offer of help with the construction will save
Carrera money in labor costs, which will enable him to spend more of the
money that he does have on the things they need to rebuild the house
Also, Carrera and his wife, Mirta, are currently staying with Carrera's
mother. Therefore, they don't need to move in right away, and have time
to "do it right," he says.
Carrera plans to buy the materials as the project progresses, and work
on the rebuilding and remodeling with his brothers.
Between weather, water damage that they believe to be from a broken
pipe, and vandalism, extensive damage has been done to both the interior
and exterior of the home. Carrera's brothers assure him that the house
is fixable though, partly because of its solid construction.
"It will take a lot of work, but it can be done," said Carrera, who is
enthusiastic about the project he hopes to begin soon.
Carrera said that he and his wife plan to move to the house once all the
major construction has been completed, and finish any small interior
projects as money is available.
If nobody else buys the laundromat and lounge, Carrera would also like
to purchase them in the future.
Since the buildings are fire hazards and places where drug users hang
out, he would have them demolished or consider forming a partnership with other members of the community to open a small business.
Alien crash 50th anniversary observed
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By MARTHA MENDOZA
Associated Press Writer
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) June 17, 1997 - "I'll tell you one thing. They didn't
have big eyes or long, stringy fingers," 80-year-old Frank Kaufmann says
of the aliens. "No ma'am. These were trim, good-looking people."
In 1947, Kaufmann and a handful of other men stationed at the Roswell
Army Air Field stumbled onto what they say was wreckage of a spaceship
northwest of town.
This year, the 50th anniversary of the story, Roswell is cashing in.
"Something happened here and it's probably the most credible UFO event
in the world," said Mayor Tom Jennings. "We've taken that and developed
it into a whole new industry - tourism."
Roswell, which sits on the plains east of the Sierra Blanca mountain
range in southeastern New Mexico, expects its 48,000 population to
double as UFO believers, researchers and the curious flock to town for a
July 1-6 golden anniversary of the alleged crash.
Although the Army air field is long gone, replaced with an industrial
park and municipal airport, what allegedly happened here lives on.
Kaufmann, a retired government intelligence agent, said he watched
soldiers put five dead aliens into body bags and haul a damaged
spaceship onto a flat-bed truck to the post.
Glenn Dennis, a mortician at a Roswell funeral home, said he got a call
from the Army post to send out several small, medically sealed caskets.
Army Lt. Walter Haut, then the post's public information officer, issued
a press release that a "flying disc" had been recovered. The next day a
new statement went out saying it was only a weather balloon.
"I guess they changed their mind," said Haut, 75.
Others didn't. The story spawned numerous books and is considered by UFO
buffs to be the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. It was mentioned in
the movie blockbuster "Independence Day," which featured a supersecret
government lab where scientists had studied alien cadavers for decades.
In real life, people usually drove right through Roswell, a center of
the state's oil and gas industry surrounded by dry grass, high plains
hills and cattle ranches.
The antiquated courthouse on Main Street, the tree-lined neighborhoods,
the quiet parks - all made Roswell a nice place to live, but a dull one
While no aliens have been spotted lately, strange phenomena have
The historic Plains movie theater at First and Main streets is now a UFO
museum - one of two in town - with a big flying saucer on the roof.
The snow cone stand is selling "Alien Juice." A country-western band of
alien figures cut out of plywood - "The Pleiadians" - is jamming in the
storefront window of Gingsberg Music Co.
Michelle Watts, owner of the Quilt Talk fabric store, is doling out her
newly designed fabric with aliens and spaceships.
"This boon could go on indefinitely. People just can't get enough of
it," said Randhi Hesse as he rang up sales of alien T-shirts and mock
spaceship crashes at the Star Child gift shop.
Anniversary contributions dried up for a bit when members of the
Heaven's Gate cult killed themselves in March, claiming they were headed
for a UFO.
"That's all but forgotten now," said Stan Crosby, the anniversary
organizer. "We're booming."
Planned events include daily tours to the alleged crash sites, a Crash
and Burn Extravaganza derby on Main Street, and UFO lectures.
Aliens are hot. "The X-Files" television show, in which FBI agents track
the paranormal and extraterrestrial, is part of America's pop culture.
"Star Trek" seems indefatigable, "Independence Day" made mega-bucks, and
wasn't that Michael Jordan shooting hoops with aliens in the "Space Jam"
"We don't get a lot of kooks," said Deon Crosby, director of the
International UFO Museum & Research Center museum and Crosby's wife.
"OK, there's this old man who comes in and he claims to be an alien,"
she said, "but we see a lot of learned people, professors, doctors, professionals interested in researching this phenomena."
Vendor space going fast for Night in Old Pecos
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By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 17, 1997 - Vendors wishing to participate in Night in Old
Pecos better reserve booths soon, according to the Pecos Chamber of
"We have just a few booths available and they're going fast," said Tom
Rivera stated that the group sponsoring Night in Old Pecos has had a lot
more participation this year and are hoping for a big turnout.
"This year Night in Old Pecos will be combined with the Cantaloupe
Festival and we're just very excited about the night out," he said.
Night in Old Pecos/Cantaloupe Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June
28, in downtown Pecos.
The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 1 a.m. Both events are
sponsored by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
Activities scheduled for the evening include a dunking booth, a car
bash, a photo booth featuring Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue, Sarsaparilla
in the Old #11 Saloon, a talent show, arts and crafts booths, and of
course lots of food booths, according to Rivera.
"The chamber will be selling sodas and water on both sides," said Rivera.
Anyone interested in participating in the talent show for a chance at
the $50 first prize can contact the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
"We're still needing entries for the talent show and everyone is welcome
to come out and perform," said Rivera.
Entertainment scheduled throughout the evening will include a 40' Kiddie
Train providing rides for the little ones, a Tae Kwon Do exhibition and
the Golden Girl of the Old West production number.
Music will be provided throughout the evening by Cat the D.J.
Two separate street dances will feature Eddie Rivera and the Breeze, set
up on the Windmill Square stage, and Imprezion, on the Oak Street stage.
"We'll be having cow-patty bingo," said Rivera.
Rivera explained that in cow-patty bingo, big squares will be drawn on
the street and participants can purchase one. Cow patties will then be
tossed onto the grid.
"If the cow patty lands on the square that the individual has purchased,
they can win cash prizes," said Rivera.
"We'll also have a lot of different games."
Rivera encourages the community to come out and bring their lawn chairs
to listen to the music.
"We want them to have fun and be comfortable," he said.
There is no admission to any of the events and the public is encouraged
to help Pecos kick off the 1997 Rodeo festivities, according to Rivera.
For more information or to purchase a booth contact the chamber office at 447-2406, or fax 445-2407 or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly sales tax rebates increase
for city, yearly total in the black
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PECOS, June 17, 1997 - Pecos sales tax rebates for June took an upward
turn this month with more than a 20 percent increase placing sales tax
revenue for the city at 0.70 percent ahead of last year at the same
time, according to the monthly report from the State Comptroller's
John Sharp, State Comptroller of Public Accounts, said a total of $161.6
million was paid out in monthly sales tax rebates to 1,089 Texas cities
and 1 17 counties in June.
"So far this year, Texas allocations are running 5.5 percent ahead of
those for the first six months of last year, once again indicating that
the Texas economy is continuing its strong, steady climb," Sharp said.
Texas cities received sales tax rebates totaling $147.7 million, 4.8
percent higher than last June's payments of $140.9 million. Rebates of
$13.9 million to Texas counties were 2 percent higher than allocations
of $13.6 million to counties in June 1996. Another $185.2 million went
to the state's eight transit authorities; 26 special purpose districts
around the state were delivered $4.4 million.
This month's sales tax rebates include local taxes collected on April
sales and reported to the Comptroller in May by businesses filing
Pecos received $66,716 this month compared to $54,925 in June, 1996, an
increase of 21.46 percent. Rebates received in May were down eight
percent from May last year and the year-to-date total in May was down
three percent. The year-to-date total for June is $359,885 compared to
$357,368 at this time last year.
Monahans sales tax rebates for the month are up almost 11 percent from
last June's total, increasing from $45,229 to $50,166.
Odessa rebates for June increased almost nine percent at $749,606 this
year compared to $689,193 last June.
Midland rebates for June were up more than three percent at $940,759
compared to $908,250 in June 1996.
The city of Houston received a sales tax rebate of $19.8 million in
June, 4.7 percent higher than last year's $18.9 million payment for the
month. Year-to-date payments to the city of Houston are up by 3.3
The $12.8 million local sales tax allocation to the city of Dallas for
June reflects a 2.3 percent increase from the $12.5 million in sales tax
rebate for the same month last year. Year-to-date payments to Dallas are
running 2.5 percent ahead of those for the first six months of 1996.
The San Antonio sales tax allocation for June was $8.4 million, 4.4
percent higher than the June 1996 payment of $8 million. Year-to-date,
San Antonio has received a 4.5 percent increase in local sales tax
payments. The Austin sales tax rebate for June totaled $6.4 million, 2.9
percent higher than the city's June 1996 payment of $6.2 million. For
the first six months of 1997, Austin's sales tax rebates are 2.2 percent
higher than those for the same period last year.
The city of Fort Worth's $4.3 million allocation was 7.8 percent above
the $4 million delivered in June 1996, placing year-to-date rebates 4.2
percent ahead of 1996 Arlington's $3.8 million in sales tax allocation
was 5.9 percent more than the relate of $3.6 million for June of last
year. Year-to-date rebates to Arlington show an increase of 4 percent
over the first six months of 1996.
El Paso's sales tax rebate of $2.9 million was 1.2 percent below the
$2.9 million payment delivered in June 1996. However, El Paso's local
sales tax payments year-to-date are 1.1 percent ahead of those through
June of 1996.
Other cities with year-to-date payments showing steady increases were:
Tyler, with a $1.5 million rebate, placing that city's allocations up 45
percent year-to-date due in large part to a tax rate increase;
Richardson, with a June sales tax rebate of $1.4 million, for a
year-to-date increase of 13.7 percent; Plano, with a $2.4 million
payment placing that city 7.1 percent ahead of 1996 year-to-date; and
Irving, with a June sales tar rebate of $2.5 million, for a year-to-date
increase of 6.9 percent.
Payments to six mass transit authorities receiving rebates quarterly
from the Comptroller, as compared to June 1996, were:
Dallas MTA, $70 million, up 2.1 percent from $68.5 million; Houston MTA,
$68.8 million, up 2.2 from $67.3 million; Austin MTA, $21 million, up
1.4 percent from $20.7 million; San Antonio MTA, $13.4 million, down 1.6
percent from $13.6 million; Fort Worth MTA, $6.6 million, up 4 percent
from $6.4 million; and Corpus Christi MTA, $3.5 million, down 3.8
percent from $3.6 million.
The monthly rebate to the El Paso City Transit Department was $1.44
million, down 1.9 percent from June 1996. The Laredo City Transit
Department sales tax rebate for April was $205,975, up 4.3 percent for
the same period last year.
Twenty-six special purpose districts around the state were sent monthly payments totaling $4.4 million.
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Former El Paso Times editor, Bill Latham, dies
EL PASO, Texas (AP) June 17, 1997 - Bill Latham, retired editor of the
El Paso Times, died Monday of complications from a fall earlier this
month. He was 86.
An El Paso resident since 1932, Latham became managing editor of the
Times in 1946, a job he held until he was named editor in 1970. He
retired in 1976.
He remained active in the El Paso communities for next two decades, said
Barbara Funkhouser, whom Latham hired as a reporter in 1960 and who
spent 10 years as editor of the Times from 1980 until her retirement in
She said Latham "loved El Paso, worked hard for the community and was
president of almost everything."
In a letter to the editor last year, Latham told how he arrived in El
Paso in the middle of the Great Depression and decided to stay after
hearing that conditions were worse in Phoenix, his original destination.
"I liked El Paso, the wide open spaces, the mighty Rio Grande, the
climate, the people - particularly the people. They were so friendly, so
courteous, so human," he wrote.
Latham returned to El Paso after World War II, during which he served in
Europe and the Pacific Theater and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Jane Stark Latham of El Paso; four
daughters, Nancy Anna Love of Modesto, Calif., Patsy Caffey of
Arlington, Nancy Hendryx of Alpine, and Peggy Lynn Latham of Orlando,
Fla.; and one son, William I. Latham Jr. of Tampa, Fla.
Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church. Burial will be in Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
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PECOS, June 17, 1997 - High Monday, 93, low this morning, 57. Skies
tonight will be clear with a low in the lower 60s and light winds.
Wednesday will be sunny with a high between 90 and 95 and a light east
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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
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