The MONAHANS NEWS
Weekly Newspaper for Ward County
June 26, 1997
Chinese investors tour Ward County
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Monahans hosted a pair of visiting Chinese businessmen, Tuesday, June
24, representing the multi-national Shandong Group Corporation of
Wang Ai Min, the company's chairman, and Li De Xin, manager, spent the
day visiting city, county and state officials before touring two
abandoned shrimp farms.
Tuesday's visit came about as a result of an ongoing effort by the City
of Monahans Economic Development Corporation to lure Chinese investment
to Ward County. A Monahans delegation, including Mayor David Cutbirth,
visited Shandong province last month to generate connections. Several
groups of Chinese already have visited the area to explore investment
Wang and Lee were flown over the Pecos River area of the county by
pilot/businessman Henry Cutbirth, the mayor's brother, before being
hosted for lunch at a Monahans restaurant, Vicky's. Attending the
luncheon were a large cross-section of Permian Basin public and
business leaders. Gifts and toasts were exchanged, during which Wang
gave his business background and his impressions of West Texas and "the
friendly, smiling people."
Interpreting for Wang was Diane Stern, wife of Monahans attorney Jack
Stern and an officer in Chintex. Following lunch, the group moved to a
meeting room in Mayor Cutbirth's nearby business, where an hour and a
half of detailed discussions took place.
It was during this meeting that a conference call was held over a
speaker phone with Professor Jim Davis of Texas A&M, a respected
specialist in aquaculture for West Texas. Wang complimented Davis on his
shrimp farming research and then asked several pointed questions,
including a query as to why two of the region's shrimp farms have been
Davis told Wang an A&M facility was not really abandoned because it
was established for a feasibility study of the possibilities for
aquaculture in the abundant subterranean salt water. Davis also said the
Triton shrimp project was scrapped after the Florida family managing
Triton found the West Texas climate intolerable.
Wang asked Davis if it was possible to realize two shrimp crops per
year and the professor assured him it could be done. Problems of the
availability of post-larvae shrimp were discussed and Wang was told
juveniles could be acquired for $8-$11 per thousand provided they were
Pacific White variety, the only breed currently permitted for inland
Texas aquaculture. Any other breed requires a permit from the Texas
Department of Parks & Wildlife.
Several of Wang's questions also were addressed by Dyer Moore, owner of
Texas Redfish Co. in Grandfalls. Moore, who previously had expressed
reservations about the entry of Chinese ventures into aquaculture, was
forthcoming with Wang about details concerning water temperature and
County Extension Agent Andy Stewart took Wang, Li and EDC's Charles
Walker for site visits to the abandoned shrimp farms near Imperial where
pond construction and water wells could be inspected.
While Walker said he believed the visit went well overall, no firm
commitments were exchanged and it was hard to gauge Wang's reactions to
some of what he was shown in his Ward County tour.
"For example, Mr. Wang wanted to know that if shrimp farming can make
a profit in West Texas, why someone would walk away from their
investment like what happened at Triton," said Walker.
Wang, whose fisheries are the largest in Shandong province, has
operations in several countries throughout the world. He is looking at
possible expansions into Africa.
His company did more than $400 million in sales last year and he employs
a workforce of 12,000.
Wang told Mayor Cutbirth and Walker that he may be interested in
constructing a $3 million, 200-acre facility in Ward County if he can be
convinced it would be a profitable venture. (He had noted earlier he
needed a shrimp yield of 5,000 pounds per acre.)
Wang also said he may want to do a smaller pilot project. Wang told
Walker he would be sending a team of three experts from his company to
perform tests in the near future.
If Wang's 200-acre farm becomes a reality, it would provide at least
10 jobs and likely require construction of a processing plant, officials projected.
Local Baptists boycott Disney boycott
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Southern Baptist ministers in Ward County deplore the moral message from
the international conglomerate built on Mickey Mouse.
But only one interviewed by the Monahans News plans to join in the
boycott of Disney Inc. and its cornucopia of media, theme park, fast
food and toy alliances and enterprises
And that pastor's individual boycott is tempered by a call for prayer
for Disney executives, a call also sounded by the other Baptist clergy
speaking about the Disney boycott's potential impact.
That boycott came in a resolution adopted last week at the Southern
Baptist Convention in Dallas by about 12,000 church messengers
representing most of the church's at least 15 million members and 47,000
local churches, the largest Protestant church body in the United
States. It came, the messengers said, because Disney, which had been
founded on Christian family values and entertainment, has become
homosexual friendly in its personnel policies (which allow for same sex
relationships in insurance coverage), its products (network television
shows like Ellen which celebrate gay life-styles) and its
million-dollar-a-day-revenue theme parks (which host special days for
Ward County Southern Baptist ministers interviewed all said the
messengers, "all Christians," are frustrated by the moral deterioration
of the nation. One pastor uses the Biblical examples of Sodom and
Gomorah.The ministers also note the Southern Baptist Church is founded
on what the theologians call the "Priesthood of the Believer." This
provides that each individual Baptist decides for themselves matters of
church policy. Each Baptist has a direct relationship with God through
Jesus Christ. This means an action by the Southern Baptist Convention
is an action only of the convention. Each Baptist chooses individually
whether to follow the resolution, not follow it or modify it in line
with an individual's relationship with God. All of the ministers say
they speak only for themselves, not their churches and not their
church's members. They emphasize this point. Their opinions on the
issue, they note, like those of the Convention messengers, are not
binding on other Baptists. Each Baptist, they say, decides if they wish
to boycott Disney and its business partners. One wonders if refusing to
buy McDonald's hamburgers would be a positive thing. McDonald's
currently conducts a promotion in which a Disney animated feature,
Hercules, is a central focus.
The Rev. Dr. Allie Balko of First Baptist in Wickett is sharp in his
reference to the Disney boycott resolution: "We're Christian. We're
against homosexuals. But there are ways we can respond positively
without making a donkey of ourselves."
Balko uses the word "pathetic" to describe the Disney boycott
resolution. He continues: "I don't know why they (the Southern Baptist
Convention) do things like this."
Says Pastor William H. Hatler of Southside Baptist in Monahans: "I
concur with their (the messengers') thoughts. I feel any kind of
promotion of homosexual things is wrong. But I'm not going to throw my
Mickey Mouse watch away. . .I endorse their stand. We need to take a
stronger stand against homosexuality. I see what they were doing. .
.this homosexual thing . . .ultimately will destroy the moral values of
Notes the Rev. Barry Klempnauer of First Baptist-Monahans: "I speak for
myself. If people want to boycott, that's up to them.
"I disagree (with the boycott). . Let's make a challenge. Pray for
Michael Eisner (chief executive of Disney). Pray for Eisner. So much can
be done with people praying."
Klempnauer says a resolution he would have made at the convention in
reference to Disney support for gays would have read:
"We as messengers resolve to pray three days a week - Monday, Wednesday
and Friday - for 30 minutes to pray for Disney executives."
This would be Klempnauer's move to curb the corporation "instead of a
Klempnauer says he would say to the convention messengers: "Did you
pray for them? Did you love them?"
He notes: "Financial boycott hurts but there is a better stand and
Pastor Robert Mitchell of Monahans Immanuel Baptist votes boycott. He
states flatly: "I plan to boycott."Boycott will cost Disney money.
Modern international conglomerates understand only money. Boycott, if it
costs Disney only a few million dollars, is something the company will
understand, says Mitchell..
Mitchell: "I strongly disagree with the leadership of the Disney Co. The
direction of the Southern Baptist Convention, I feel, is a step in the
More from Mitchell: "Boycott should not come off as some kind of
self-righteousness. We need to adhere to spiritual truth."Mitchell also notes: "None of this is going to do anything without praying. "
Inventor makes driving safer
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J.B. Pogue, the boss at Alpine Cellular in Monahans, has done it for the
He received official notice on June 3 that the U.S. Patent Office in
Washington D.C. has granted him his third patent. The first two were
for oil patch equipment. This one is designed to make driving a little
safer by using technology to create smart traffic hazard warnings, smart
cars and safer drivers.
It's U.S. Patent Office number is 5,635,920. It's called a Remote
Traffic Signal Indicator (RTSI). California-based agents already are
making contacts with potential manufacturers.
"It will save some lives," says Pogue as he talks about his latest
venture into the world of inventing.
His partners in the invention are John E. Cope of the Alpine office in
Big Spring and Monahans investor Glenn R. Vance, both of whom, Pogue
reports have a 15 percent interest in the device.
As with all inventions, there is a story.
Pogue notes that in the community of Coyanosa, there is a major traffic
intersection marked with banks of flashing red lights.
"Many people have been killed there," notes Pogue.
He drove through that intersection just before Christmas in 1993 and
wondered if the traffic crash numbers would go down there if there was a
way to give drivers more warning that the intersection was ahead.
He was on his way to Fort Stockton at the time to visit with Cope. They
talked about the possibilities of providing advance warning, at least
100 yards of advance warnings, to traffic hazards motorists face when
they travel the highways of the nation. The device Pogue envisioned
would work in much the same way aircraft collision avoidance systems
"As I was driving back through Coyanosa and coming to the intersection
(stop signs and flashing red lights)," Pogue says.
"There were two girls, about college age, and doing about 70 miles an
hour. They shot across that road."
That incident, which luckily did not end with an accident, added impetus
to Pogue's initiative to produce what eventually would become the RTSI.
What exactly is Pogue's Remote Traffic Signal Indicator?
Says the patent abstract: "A system and method for pre-warning a driver
of a vehicle when the vehicle is approaching a traffic light or warning
sign. Transmitters of highly directional energy are installed at the
traffic lights and/or signs while receivers for this radiant energy are
installed on each vehicle. False warnings are avoided by transmitting at
least two simultaneous coded signals from the traffic light/sign. A
first signal, called a direction signal, indicates the presence of a
light/sign while a second signal, called a status signal, indicates the
status of the traffic light/sign, e.g. red, yellow, green, 'railroad
crossing,' etc. The two signals may be transmitted using two different
kinds of radiant energy, e.g. infrared and laser beams." In addition, says Pogue, "The speaker in the vehicle's ra
Two charged with dope smuggling
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Two men from Monahans face federal dope smuggling charges in indictments
returned by a federal grand jury in Pecos.
Nearly 280 pounds of illicit weed was involved.
Darrell Fields of the U.S. Attorney's office at its headquarters in San
Antonio identified the two men as:
Rudy Bernard Jr., 21.
Kevin Dewayne Fletcher, 24.
Investigators believe it crossed the border at Ojinaga on its way North
to markets in the United States.
Both men were taken by the Border Patrol in Presidio County. Both were
pulled over at the checkpoint.
Both, according to the federal indictments, were transporting nearly
140 pounds of marijuana.
Both face charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Both were indicted on Thursday, June 12, in indictments issued in the
U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas.
But investigators say the two were apprehended in traffic checks on
Fletcher was taken, reports Fields, on May 29. Border Patrol agents
seized 137 pounds from a vehicle driven by Fletcher.
On June 9, Bernard was arrested by the Patrol, also in a standard
traffic check. Agents confiscated 139 pounds from the vehicle Bernard was driving.
Hill Park is venue for Freedom Fest
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Freedom Fest '97, Friday, July 4, Independence Day, is next week.
Chamber of Commerce executive Tammy Swigert notes the day long
celebration of the Declaration of Independence of the United States from
the United Kingdom in 1776 starts at 8 a.m.
The venue is Hill Park next to the Ward County Courthouse in Monahans.
Registration for the Blistering Sands Bicycle Tour starts at 8 a.m.
Activities end at 5 p.m.
At 9 a.m. the National Anthem will be played and Master of Ceremonies
Pearson Cooper will make a patriotic speech.
The Independence Day celebration concludes at 5 p.m. with a stage
concert by "Bound." Entertaining during the day is open to everyone.
Simply call, Swigert notes, the Chamber office (943-2187) to reserve a
space on the agenda.
From the Freedom Fest '97 communique:
"Reservations for very limited booth spaces will continue through July
2. Rental fees are $30 for a booth with no electricity or $35 with
"Chamber members receive their booths at a special rate of $25. . .
"All sorts of activities, food, entertainers, food, BINGO, contests and
more food are slated for the day's events.
"A special 'Summer Blast' t-shirt, boasting Monahans-Summer Events, will
be on sale at the Chamber tent throughout the day.
'The generous sponsors that make festivities such as this possible are:
ACE Hardware, Burke Welding Supply & Tool, Computer Center, Deluxe
Cleaners, First State Bank, Dan Gibbs Insurance, Kent Tire Co., Monahans
Nipple-Up, Pizza Hut, Quality Cleaners (Kermit) and Ward County Teachers Credit Union."
Petit jury panel to report July 7
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The following Ward County citizens have been named to a petit jury panel
to report July 7 for service in the 143rd District Court.
Those called should bring their summons to the second floor of the
courthouse promptly at 8:45 a.m.
Alberto Bustillos Abilia, Harvey Lee Acker, Kevin Dale Acker, Aurora
Bonilla Acosta, Jesse Acosta, Kimberly Ann Acosta, Eugene Aguilar Jr,
Theresa Ann Allen, Rex David Allgood, Socorro Ruiz Anaya, Lonnie B
Anderson, Christopher Chris Arriola, Felix Avila, Reginald Floyd Baily,
Robert L Bandel, Shirley Barksdale, Alicia Marie Barnett, Daphna
Hollingsworth Beckman, Cord Randall Bigham, John Wesley Blackmon,
Emerson Blair, William Brian Booker, Mandy Carlene Brandenburg, Joseph
Adolph Bravo, Michael Eric Bristow, Zena Lynn Brown, Debra Lynn Burnett,
Alvin Monroe Bush, Nancy Ann Calder, Genia Cupp Caldwell, Susan Annette
Caldwell, Pete Lujan Canava, Janet Kay Chandler, Ron Clark, J P Colwell,
Corine Scott Cooper, Loyd Douglas Curbow, Johnny Allison Dalton, Sylvia
Hernandez Davila, Bryan Eugene Davis, Nancy Earl Dawson, Raynaldo Garcia
Dominguez, Kathleen Reynolds Fausett, Amilcar Avalos Flores, Dena Sue
Floyd, Laura Ann Floyd, Lea Dlynn Forbush, NaomiRamirez Fuentes and
Albert J. Gallas.
Gregorio Cobos Garcia, Orlando Garcia, Patsy Falcon Garcia, Paula
Tavarez Garcia, Robert Millian Garcia, Thomas Hendricks Garcia, Sam
Preston Golden, Chon Gomez, Billy Ray Hall, Ramona Hanson, Jerry D
Harbin, Ocie Faye Harbin, Wendell Neil Harkey, James Milton Harris,
Jolene Chailland Hash, Richard Royal Hayes, Josephine Heredia, Lendora
Hill, William Wyatt Holladay, Barry Bren Holland, Nelda June Hudson,
Charles B Jones, Yolanda Montez Juarez, Virgie Kelly, Dawn Carol Kidd,
Robert Harold Krauter, Frank James Krhut, Linda Landry Kuhn, Debra
Landreth, Sean Lauier Layman, Johnny Olen Leftwich, Jamie Jonathon
Lerma, Silva Valenzuela Leyva, Sandra L Locke, Julian M Lopez, Norman
Lee Luckie, Esequiel Pardo Lujan, Billy Cy Martin, Isaac Martinez,
Mariano Guerra Martinez, Moises B Martinez, Douglas Ellis Maxey, Kevin
Paul McClelland, Carolyn Sue McCracken, Johnny Beline McCracken, Geneva
Joyce McCullough, David Lee McCumsey, Melea Denise McGrew, Scott Wayne
McKenzie and Randy Lee McLain.
David Wesley McMurtry, Debra Mitchell, Diana Oyerbides Molina, Beatrice
N. Morales, Irma Morales, Joaquin Sanchez Morales, Daylon RayMullins,
Sue A Mullins, Mary Frances Munoz, Dayton Wayne Neff, Jesus Jose
Nevarez, Dorthia Viola Olgin, Yolanda Saenz Ordonez, Debra Orndorff,
Larry Thomas Ornelas, Richard Ornelas, Romaldo Cordero Pena, Peggy Jo
Perryman, Clarence Earl Phipps, Stephen Brett Pinson, William Mark
Pitner, Billy Dale Ply, Hugh Allen Polly III, Julian Valenzuela Porras,
Maria Porras, Lori Ann Porter, Shonna Lisa Pratt, Doretta Thames Price,
Rebecca Anderson Pulis, Rachel M Ramirez, John T. Ratcliff, John Marvin
Rayburn, Octavio Gonzalez Renteria, Joann Roark, Tommy Lee Roberts, Jeff
Scott Rolfe, Michael James Roundtree, Omero Hernandez Ruiz, Martha Yanez
Saenz, Jesus Salgado, Clara Elsa Salinas, Corina Granado Sanchez, Juan
Francisco Sanchez, Maria Luisa Sanchez, Maryfay A Sanchez, Roberto
Olivares Sanchez, Thomas Morales Santiago, Jimmy Ray Schoolcraft,
Armando Trevizo Segura and Sheri Terry Smith.
Elia Speakman, Randall Ray Spurgeon, Enriqueta Subia, Betty Swan, Donnie
Dale Taber, Cozett Taylor, Sophia Tefertiller, Steven James Thomas,
Priscilla R Valdez, John Albert Vera, Peggy Vestal, Alice Marie
Villesca, Deborah Lynn Watts, Teresa Dunn Winters, Imelda Carnero Ybarra, Sue Young.
Gross sales jump 5 percent
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Retail outlets decreased by nearly 30 in Ward County but gross sales
still jumped by nearly five percent, according to records compiled by
State Comptroller John Sharp's office.
Those figures were for the last quarter of 1996 compared with the last
quarter of 1995.
The numbers were released by the comptroller's research division on
Friday, June 13.
The gross sales increase came, according to the state records, although
the number of reporting outlets decreased from 221 in Ward County in the
last quarter of 1995 to 192 in the last quarter of last year.
Gross sales were up 4.8 percent, from $14,901,163 to $15,609,470 in the
Use tax purchases totaled $19,320. Sales subject to the state sales and use tax combined totaled $7,544,732.
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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