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July 24, 1997
Balmorhea deputy killed in auto accident
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By SHANNON BRYER
PECOS, July 24, 1997 - Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Floyd Estrada
died at about 5 a.m. today at University Medical Center in Lubbock
following a one vehicle accident south of Pecos late last night.
Estrada was traveling south in his 1987 Ford F-250 when it left State
Highway 17 and flipped 1 1/2 times. The cab of the pick-up was crushed
when rescue crews arrived at the site, about three miles south of Pecos,
just north of FM 1934.
Emergency personnel used the jaws-of-life to cut open the pick-up door
to remove Estrada from the truck. Estrada was taken by ambulance to
Reeves County Hospital and then flown to Lubbock about 1:15 this morning.
According to Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez, Estrada was hauling pipe to
Balmorhea, where he is a deputy sheriff. The Texas Department of Public
Safety is performing the investigation, and has not yet determined the
cause of the accident.
Estrada first became a deputy in 1977. "We've been working together for
the past 20 years. We were very close friends, not just coworkers. He
was loyal to all his friends," Gomez said.
"He was unique. He was always ready to go anywhere. He didn't care how
many hours he put in, and never refused a call. He went the extra mile,"
A letter from District Attorney Randall W. (Randy) Reynolds to Sheriff
Gomez stated, "As a deputy, he was a true defender of justice. He served
the people loyally, tirelessly and without hesitation.
"Deputy Estrada had a unique and keen sense of providing effective law
and order and peace in the wide open spaces of Reeves County and
particularly to the citizens of Balmorhea, Texas, that can not be
"He was driven to bringing violators to justice and was an officer whose
fellow officers could count on in any situation including when lives
were on the line.
"Besides all that, he was true to his friends and his family," Reynolds
Born in 1950, Estrada was married to Elia Estrada, and had four
daughters from a previous marriage. He won an Officer of the Year Award
and a Governor's Commendation during his years as a deputy.
Robert Byers of the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office is performing the autopsy.
PHS gym now decorated with
murals through training program
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By SHANNON BRYER
PECOS, July 24, 1997 - Each year, the Job Training Partnership Act
(JTPA) program sponsors a special project. This year the project was
painting murals in the Pecos High School Gym. Under the supervision of
Walter Holland, PHS art instructor, five JTPA youth plus four other
young people painted the murals.
The JTPA program places local youth in jobs so they can learn work
skills in practical settings. The program is a partnership between the
government and the business where the youth work because the federal
government pays the wages, and the businesses teach the necessary skills.
Murals painted at PHS include a mural of the United States and Texas
flags painted on the south wall of the gymnasium. Also, the youth
painted an eagle, the school's mascot, on the north wall. A blimp was
painted on the east wall and an airplane on the west.
The project taught the youth the use of the principles of design and
art. They became familiar with using computers in the development of
graphics. The project also taught them the skills of taping areas that
are not to be painted, using a chalk line to mark walls for straight
line painting, and determining the amount of paint needed for a specific
This is the first year for private businesses to participate in the JTPA
Gibson True Value Home Center and Luz Ortiz Insurance Agency are the two
private businesses that participated in Reeves County this summer.
Claudia Garcia and Mark Marquez worked at Gibson, operating the cash
register, handling money, serving the public, and entering data. They
also learned stocking, merchandising, and warehousing.
"The program worked out very well for us. Claudia and Mark were very
intelligent and hard-working. I would recommend the program to any
business," said Gibson Owner Larry Windham.
Marisol Gonzalez spent six weeks at Luz Ortiz Insurance Agency. She
learned telephone, typing, filing, computer, and communication skills.
"Marisol was willing to learn and to help us out whenever we were
rushed," said Elizabeth Leos, insurance clerk at Luz Ortiz Insurance
Fifty six other youth worked at many other work sites in Reeves County.
Some youth worked for the Town of Pecos City and were involved in
keeping a warehouse and water lab clean inside and out, reading water
meters, and disconnecting and reconnecting water services. In the lab,
they learned to test water and chemicals used for purification.
Many of the youth worked with computers, typewriters and dicta phones at
the Mental Health Clinic, the Reeves County Clerk's Office, the Tax
Office, and the Justice of the Peace Offices in Balmorhea and Toyah.
The Juvenile Detention Center, the Texas Department of Human Services,
the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, and the Balmorhea ISD all taught
participants a variety of basic skills and key elements of work,
according to Elba Arreguy, coordinator of the Pecos JTPA program.
"The PBT ISD Kindergarten summer school instructor, Mrs. Rebecca Paz,
did a great job of teaching Summer Youth Educational Training Program
tutors to work with and teach children, while at the same time learning
basic skills," said Arreguy.
Four participants were placed in a day care center where they learned
about caring for children. Youth were also involved in office aide
"The county library provided good supervision and taught many skills
that the youth will long remember and benefit from as they continue in
school," said Arreguy.
Eight Balmorhea youth were placed at Balmorhea State Park and two were
at the City of Balmorhea. Participants at the park were involved in
keeping the entire park area clean and mowed. They helped clean the
cabins, and in the office they learned office procedures and public
All the youth in the program learned the importance of working with
other people, punctuality, work quality, and leadership. If your
business or agency is interested in having a JTPA participant next summer, call Elba Arreguy at 447-2123.
Lawyer says no laws broken by U.S. Marine
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By MICHELLE KOIDIN
Associated Press Writer
HOUSTON (AP) July 24, 1997 - The attorney for a Marine who killed a
Texas teen-ager near the U.S.-Mexico border is disputing reports that
the high school student was shot in the back.
Jack Zimmermann, a civilian attorney retained by Cpl. Clemente Banuelos,
summoned reporters on Wednesday to respond to what he called
"disinformation" since the May 20 shooting. The lawyer passed out
8-by-10 photographs of the baby-faced Marine and insisted the
22-year-old broke no laws when he shot Esequiel Hernandez Jr.
Zimmermann, a retired Marine Corps colonel who took the case earlier
this month, spoke out as Presidio County District Attorney Albert
Valadez prepared to present findings to a grand jury in the next week or
"Cpl. Banuelos fired only as a last resort and, in our judgment, he did
not violate any criminal law of the state of Texas or of the United
States," Zimmermann said.
Military officials say Hernandez, a Redford high school student who was
tending his goat herd, was shot after firing twice at a four-man Marine
surveillance team that was watching a suspected drug route at the
request of the Border Patrol.
The military maintains that the 18-year-old had raised his .22-caliber
rifle for a third shot when Banuelos fired his M-16.
The Marine Corps has said it stands by its personnel, but civilian
investigators have said Hernandez might not have seen the camouflaged
troops and that the evidence doesn't match the soldiers' accounts. An
autopsy indicated that the teen-ager was not facing the Marines when he
"He was not shot in the back," Zimmermann said. "He was shot in the
right front rib cage."
There has been speculation that the teen-ager might have thought he was
shooting at an animal or a rock.
Zimmermann, who just returned from visiting with his client at Camp
Pendleton, Calif., dismissed that theory.
"They were clearly identifiable as people," he said. "They were carrying
a black water can ... they had communications gear, they had full packs
on, the camouflage paint was off their faces, they didn't have helmets
He added: "In their view, there was no question that they had been
Zimmermann said the Marines had been on duty for three days and had
sweated off the camouflage paint that helps them to blend into the West
Texas landscape. He conceded, however, that Hernandez was at least 200
yards away when he fired his rifle, and Zimmermann could not say how big
the water can was.
He denied that the Marines did not try to help Hernandez, saying they
waited for the Border Patrol to arrive and did not move him because it
appeared he was alive and had a broken neck.
The attorney contended it wasn't the first time Hernandez fired his
rifle in the area. Zimmermann said the teen-ager shot at two Border
Patrol agents in February and was warned not to do so.
Six protesters who want to roll back the increasing militarization of
the U.S.-Mexico border stood outside Zimmermann's office building carrying posters with Hernandez's picture.
Sales tax revenues increase
across state and in Pecos
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PECOS, July 24, 1997 - Sales tax rebates to Texas cities and counties
are 5.7 percent ahead of last year at this time and indicate strong
consumer confidence in the state's economy, according to the State
Meanwhile the economy in Pecos seems to be picking up, although slightly
behind the pace of the state average.
Pecos received $56,016 in sales tax rebates this month, an increase of
more than 4 percent from July 1996. Year-to-date Pecos has received
$415,902 in sales tax rebates, an increase of 1.15 percent from last
year at this time.
A total of $153.7 million in monthly sales tax payments were made to the
state's cities and counties this month.
Tax rebates totaling $1 ,086 million were made to Texas cities, 7.4
percent higher than last July's payments of $130.3 million, John Sharp
reports. Rebates of $13.6 million to Texas counties were 7.6 percent
higher than allocations of $12.6 million to counties in July 1996.
Another $4.1 million went to 26 special purpose districts around the
This month's sales tax rebates include local taxes collected on May
sales and reported to the Comptroller in June by Businesses filing
Odessa received $699,347 in sales tax rebates this month, a 13.25
percent increase from July 1997. Midland's sales tax revenue increased
15.33 percent from July last year to $916,837.
Monahans saw a 29.99 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the month
Balmorhea experienced the greatest percentage of sales tax revenue
increase for the area at 134.31 percent receiving $249 for the month
compared to $106 received in July 1997.
The city of Houston received a sales tax rebate of $18.2 million in
July, 7.8 percent higher than last year's $16.9 million payment for the
month. Year-to-date payments to the city of Houston are up by 3.8
The $12.1 million local sales tax allocation to the city of Dallas for
July reflects a 2 percent decrease from the $1 2.3 million in sales tax
rebate for the same month last year. However, year-to-date payments to
Dallas are running 1.9 percent ahead of those for the first seven months
The San Antonio sales tax allocation for July was $7.9 million, 6.4
percent higher than the July 1996 payment of $7.4 million.
Year-to-date, San Antonio has received a 4.7 percent increase in local
sales tax payments.
The Austin sales tax rebate for July totaled $6 million, virtually
unchanged from the payment for July 1996. For the first seven months of
1997, Austin's sales tax rebates are 1.8 percent higher than those for
the same period last year.
The city of Fort Worth's $3.8 million allocation was 11.3 percent above
the $3.4 million delivered in July 1996, placing year-to-date rebates 5
percent ahead of 1996. Arlington's $3.5 million in sales tax allocation
was 4 percent more than the rebate of $3.4 million for June of last
year. Year-to-date rebates to Arlington show an increase of 4 percent over the first seven months of 1996.|
Drug charges land four in local keep
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By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, July 24, 1997 - The local police have been busy keeping people
who keep drugs from keeping company with others lately.
Tuesday morning, three men were arrested at Pecos Cantaloupe Company,
2101 Bickley Ave., for possession of marijuana, a state jail felony,
after an employee of the company reported to polices that the three had
attempted to sell marijuana to that employee.
Pecos Police Officer Freddy Contreras arrived at the scene with Reeves
County Sheriff's Deputy Bobby Jenkins and detained the three male
subjects until Narcotics Investigator Paul Deishler arrived. The three
law enforcement officers then questioned the three subjects about the
complaint that had been made against them.
The first subject, Eric Keith Payne, refused to let the officers search
his vehicle and was detained for investigative purposes while a search
warrant for his vehicle was obtained.
Upon searching the vehicle that the three men were in, a large amount of
a substance believed to be marijuana was found in the trunk.
Payne was charged with possession of marijuana, felony amount, along
with David Hernandez and Benito Ramirez. The three men were then taken
to the Reeves County Jail.
In an update on a drug case that began last week, in which an apartment
at Casa Manana Apartments was searched and found to contain a controlled
substance, an arrest has been made.
Benino Sanchez, Casa Manana Apartments #10, has been arrested on a
warrant charging him with possession of a controlled substance, cocaine,
on July 22 and placed in the Reeves County Jail.
The search was executed on July 15, but he was not home at that time.
Bonds have been set at $5,000 apiece for each of the four suspects.
Carlos "Chale" Hignojos Rodriguez Sr.
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PECOS, July 24, 1997 - Carlos "Chale" Hignojos Rodriguez Sr., 48, of
Berkely, Calif. died July 9, 1997.
Rosary will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 25 at Martinez Funeral Home.
Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26 at Santa Rosa Catholic Church.
Burial will be in Santa Rosa Cemetery.
Survivors include: his wife, Carol Martinez Rodriguez of Saragosa; his
mother, Frances "Kika" Marquez of Pecos; nine brothers, Victor H.
Rodgriguez III, Alex Marquez Jr., Jacob Marquez, Michael "Mikey" Marquez
Sr. and James Marquez of Pecos, Miguel Rodriguez of Vallejo, Calif, Fred
H. Rodriguez of Los Angeles, Calif., Peter John Marquez of Midland and
Ray Marquez of La Puente, Calif.; eight sisters, Angela R. Schissner of
Murietta Calif., Hortensia R. Rubio of Riverside, Calif., Belinda M.
Morin of Pecos, Carmen M. Payan and Jeannie M. Marquez of Odessa, Alice
M. Porras of Laguna Niguel Calif., Sally M. Cortez and Grace Marquez of Pico Rivera, Calif.; and one grandchild.
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PECOS, July 24, 1997 - High Wednesday, 96, low this morning, 70.
Slightly warmer temperatures are expected across most of Texas tonight
and Friday. There is a continued chance of isolated to widely scattered
showers and thunderstorms around the state. But most areas won't get a
significant amount of rain and many areas won't get any at all. It will
be partly cloudy and hot across West Texas with a chance of showers and
thunderstorms. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s. Highs Friday
will be in the 80s and 90s.
San Angelo Standard Times
Abilene Reporter News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Morning News
Texas Press Association
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Sister Paper to Pecos Enterprise
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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