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August 19, 1997

UPS strike end welcome news to Pecos businesses

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From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, August 19, 1997 - Fleets of familiar brown delivery trucks may be
chugging in a few days after UPS and the Teamsters announced an
agreement today to end a 15-day strike that crippled the nation's
largest package carrier.

For some Pecos businesses the possible end of the strike is welcome news.

"It's costing us more because we're having to pay higher costs to ship
packages," said Bill Oglesby, a Vice-President at Security State Bank.
"Another company took ten days to deliver something that would have
taken UPS one or two days, and it cost us twice as much."

Oglesby said the bank has made it through the strike by trying not to
ship as much and using the U.S. Postal Service whenever they can.

"It's the pits," said Sherry Marshall, owner of The Ceramic Shop, who
had to travel to Odessa to pick up a shipment of glazes and other
supplies for her business. Most of her shipments are incoming, but she
ships products out occasionally. She said that part of the shipment she
had to pick up was slip, clay which is poured into the shop's molds, and
is too heavy to have mailed through the post office.

"We realize that our customers have suffered many inconveniences, and I
want to assure them that our great service is going to be available to
them very soon," David Murray, chief negotiator for UPS, said at an
early morning news conference.

Approval of the deal may come as early as tonight.

The two sides agreed late Monday night to a five-year deal that includes
the creation of 10,000 new full-time jobs from existing part-time
positions. The company also will raise pay for full-time workers by
$3.10 an hour over the life of the contract and agreed to keep a
multi-employer pension plan.

Irma Castillo, business manager at American Home Health, said that UPS
is still delivering to the health care service, so the strike hasn't
caused them any problems.

"It's difficult to get shipments. We've had to make out-of-town trips to
get supplies for our business because our suppliers have no way to ship
them," said Jeannette Alligood, co-owner of Oilfield Phone Service,
which also deals in office telecommunications equipment and relies on
UPS for shipment of parts and equipment.

Teamsters leaders from around the country and members of the bargaining
committee were flying to Washington today to consider ratification.
Murray added that the company hopes to welcome back the striking
employees quickly.

UPS spokesman Ken Sternad told CNN "we have a plan to get our business
up and running very quickly"' but "conceivably" up to 15,000 jobs might
be lost.

"Certainly there are jobs that will not be there," he said at UPS
headquarters in Atlanta. "Hopefully, through growth we will be able to
replace them eventually. It will just depend on package flows."

Competitors rushed into the vacuum created by the strike and Sternad
estimated five percent of UPS business might continue to be taken by

"You've got to go a different way," said Butch Renshaw, owner and
operator of A-1 Motors, an automobile repair shop. "I get parts from all
over, but so far I've been able to find alternative methods of shipment."

The impact is big on the UPS shipping business at Rediger's Pharmacy,
said John Rediger, Jr., who added that that is only a small percentage
of the pharmacy's business overall.

"People just aren't bringing their packages by. We still get some
shipments from UPS, but not as many, of course," Rediger said.

"I really haven't noticed a whole lot of effect, because other companies
are picking up the slack," said Marvon Ballard, office manager at La
Tienda Thriftway. The grocery store also has an automated UPS shipping
center, but its computer has been broken, she said, so the strike's main
effect on their shipping business is that they haven't been able to get
anyone to come out and fix the computer.

The most profound effect that the UPS strike has had at La Tienda has
been felt in the bakery and video rental departments.

Belinda Mirelez, bakery manager, said she isn't receiving her supplies,
such as cake decorations, as often as she used to. She said that her
department has been the hardest hit, and the bakery is where the strike
is costing La Tienda the most money.

Ballard added that the store hasn't received any new video releases in
the past two weeks.

Herrera's Insurance has incorporated UPS shipping into their business.
Owner Joey Herrera said that he added the shipping service as a
convenience for his customers. Around this time of year, about five
boxes of Pecos cantaloupes are shipped by area residents each day.

"We're doing some overnight air, and that's all. The only thing UPS is
accepting right now is next day air," said Herrera.

On a normal business day, UPS moves 12 million bundles and parcels, or
the equivalent of 5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. But
with the support of package delivery giant's 2,000 pilots, the Teamsters
virtually shut the company down, leaving business owners scrambling to
find alternative carriers.

Pressure on both sides escalated during the strike's second week. The
company estimated its losses at up to $300 million in business each week
and the union owed pickets about $10 million in weekly strike benefits.

Dave Thomas, owner of the local Radio Shack franchise, said, "For one
thing, I can't get my orders delivered," Thomas added that what he is
getting in is costing as much in freight charges as the products are

"We're hanging in there," said Thomas. "We're still ordering, but we're
not taking shipment until we can get a better deal."

Linda Gholson, owner of The Style Shop, which sells clothing and
accessories, gets a lot of her merchandise shipped from Dallas.

"We haven't received any merchandise in quite a few days," she said.

The deal announced early today, although tentative, was for the better,
according to some workers at UPS' Atlanta headquarters. They were happy
to hear that the agreement included 10,000 new full-time jobs to be
created from existing part-time positions and a pension that will remain
under union supervision instead of management's.

On a normal business day, UPS moves 12 million bundles and parcels, or
the equivalent of 5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. But
with the support of the package delivery giant's 2,000 pilots, the union
virtually shut the company down.

But even UPS competitors were happy to give up the extra business the
strike generated. "Nobody can absorb that many shipments," said Tom
Branigan, a spokesman for Airborne Express in Seattle.

"I like it when the extra hours come along, but once it ends, I'm happy
to go home earlier, too," said David Steven, a night manager at Western
Messenger in San Francisco. "One thing I'll miss is not seeing the UPS vans double-parked around town."

County jail prisoner died last week

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 19, 1997 - A Pecos man who had been in custody at Reeves
County Jail died over the weekend in an Odessa hospital.

Juan Ortiz Chavez, 43, a lifelong Pecos resident, died Sunday at Medical
Center Hospital in Odessa, according to a funeral notice sent out on

According to Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez Chavez became
ill in the jail at 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15.

Chavez received CPR at the jail Friday and was later transported by the
Pecos Ambulance Service to Reeves County Hospital, Gomez said. From
there he was taken to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa where he was
officially pronounced dead Sunday, Aug. 17.

"I don't know the cause of death," Gomez said. "He had heart problems."
The sheriff added that autopsy results are expected later today.

Chavez was arrested by the Sheriff's department July 3 on a motion to
revoke probation. Sam Lujan, of the Adult Probation Department, said
there were "technical violations" of his probation that he was not free
to discuss due to the confidentiality of the case.

Chavez was on probation for delivery of heroin.

Following Chavez' death, his sister, Lidia Perez, charged that other
people who were in jail with her brother said that jail personnel
sometimes failed to give Chavez the medication proscribed for his heart

However, when asked about the allegation, Gomez said, "We have records
of the medication we gave him."

Mass will be held at 2 p.m., tomorrow, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Pecos.

Pecos Housing Authority seeks cause of lost funds

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 19, 1997 - An investigation continues into the
misappropriation of Farm Labor Housing funds.

"We had called an emergency meeting and did an audit and that's when we
came up with what was missing," said Pecos Housing Authority Director
Nellie Gomez.

The matter has been turned over to the district attorney who is
currently investigating it, according to Gomez.

The audit revealed that the misappropriation of funds occurred between
April 1, 1996 and June 31, 1997. The discrepancy noted about $7,600 of
funds missing.

"This is at the Farm Labor Housing and has nothing to do with HUD or
low-income housing," said Gomez.

Since then the two offices have been consolidated with Gomez overseeing

"We have four (employees) who do the collecting, but only two who are
responsible for depositing," said Gomez. "One is for the Farm Labor
Housing portion of the funds and the other for HUD," she said.

"I thought everything was going real well, but now I'm the supervisor
for that office also," she said.

"As far as I know the DA has assigned an investigator to the matter, but
they don't have the results," said Gomez.

Chairman of the Pecos Housing Authority Board Frank Perea stated that,
"We don't know what happened to these funds, once the ranger completes
the investigation, we'll know more abut who took the funds, if anyone."

"We know that Randy (the district attorney) has already contacted the
Texas Rangers to come investigate this," he said.

According to DA Randy Reynolds the matter is under investigation by the
Texas Rangers and the report is not completed yet.

"As soon as we get the report from them, we'll know more and then we can continue with what we have to do," he said.

Felony and "high misdemeanor"
crimes on decrease in Pecos

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 19, 1997 - Crime is on the decline in Pecos, according to
statistics presented by the Pecos Police Chief.

Troy Moore explained that a report on crime in Texas, which shows
statistics broken down by county, shows a decrease in some crimes from
the 1995 statistics.

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program provides statistics on felony
and "high misdemeanor" crimes, which Moore defined as Class A and Class
B misdemeanors. The crimes specifically are homicide, forcible rape,
robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Robbery is a theft from a person where a weapon or strong-arm tactic is
used. Burglary is where a home or business is broken into. Larceny is
what Moore referred to as "white paper" crime, such as theft by check or
credit card fraud.

"Those things (burglary and assault) seem to go in cycles," said Moore.

"We have a pretty good catch ratio."

Moore cited a 1995 report, which he said showed a total of 465 UCR
crimes which were handled by the Pecos Police Department. The 1996
report shows a total of 352 UCR crimes, a decrease of 113.

"This is how you would grade the effectiveness of a police department,
that's my feeling on it," said Moore, who is proud of the city's low
crime rate, especially when it is compared to similar areas, such as

The 1996 report shows that the Sweetwater Police Department, which
serves a population only slightly larger than that of the Pecos Police
Department, handled a significantly larger number of UCR crimes.

The Pecos Police Department serves a population of 12,141; the
Sweetwater Police Department serves a population of 12,467, according to
the report. While the Pecos PD handled 352 UCR crimes, the Sweetwater PD
handled 609 such crimes. Although there is only a difference of 326 in
population served by the two departments, there were 257 more UCR crimes
handled by Sweetwater during 1996.

Moore said that Pecos has a reputation of having a lot of crime among
some people, but these statistics show that really isn't so.
"I think we're doing pretty fine," said Moore.|

Farm labor and Pecos housing
boards meet Thursday

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PECOS, August 19, 1997 - The Board of Commissioners for Farm Labor
Housing of the Town of Pecos City will hold its monthly meeting at 5
p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at the PHA/FLH administration office at 600
Meadow Brook Drive.

The board will meet to approve the minutes of the previous month's
meeting as well as to review the certificate of compliance issued by the
Texas Department of Health on July 28, 1997.

Also on the agenda is the drafting of the monthly financial statement,
including the monthly accounts payable and occupancy status report for
this month.

The board will also draft the rent roll and cash journal for the month
and dictate items to be placed on next month's agenda.

The Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the town of
Pecos will also hold its monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at
the PHA/FLH Administration Office.

New business on the agenda includes advertisements for the contractor of
the CIAP '96 Project; a crime coverage proposal; approval and resolution
of the dwelling lease agreement; an approval and resolution update on
the procurement policy as well as approval and resolution to write off
collection losses.

Collection losses are as follows: Celestina Cerna at $346.00; Debra
Flores at $505.00; Elaine Rangel at $2,325.00; Staole Dunivan at
$156.00; Sharon Bell Bolton at $130.00; and Jose Chaoon at $156.00.

The board will also draft its monthly income and expense report, monthly accounts payable and the monthly occupancy report.

Jury duty age rises

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PECOS, August 19, 1997 - If you'll be 66 on your next birthday, don't
think you'll get out of jury duty.

The age for serving on jury duty will be raised to 70, up from 65.

"This new law will go into effect on Sept. 1," said District Clerk Juana

Senate Bill 551 changes the optional exemption from jury service to age

"This is the legislature making all these changes," said Jaquez.

The change applies to people who are summoned to jury duty after Sept. 1.

"For instance, right now I'm summoning some that will serve on jury duty
on Sept. 8, but they will fall under the old law," said Jaquez.

"We're trying to improve on jury process all the time," said Jaquez.

One of the newer things they have is a recording system which tells
potential jurors if they should appear or not.

"Potential jurors can call after 4 p.m. the day before they are supposed
to appear and find out for sure if they have to appear," said Jaquez.

The 75th Legislature is the one making all the changes, according to Jaquez.

UT's test vineyard getting the squeeze

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From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

PECOS, August 19, 1997 - Cord Switzer and his wife, Sandy traveled 250
miles from their Fredericksburg winery to the state's largest
experimental vineyard in West Texas, hoping to get a look at the
vineyard's 15-year-old grape vines before the chain saws tore into them.

They were too late.

By the time the Switzers arrived Wednesday in Bakersfield - a town about
20 miles east of Fort Stockton - the demolition had begun and, along
with it, what appeared to be the end of 20 years of Texas grape research.

"I wanted Sandy to see it before it got destroyed, and when we got there
and she saw 15-year-old vines being cut by chain saws, she burst into
tears," said Cord Switzer, whose family owns Fredericksburg Winery.

The vineyard got a last-minute reprieve, though. State Sen. Frank Madla
Jr., D-San Antonio, received word Thursday from University of Texas
Chancellor William Cunningham that the UT Board of Regents temporarily
stopped the cutting and bulldozing of the vines until their meeting

At that session, Madla will ask the regents to save the vines and
consider other options, such as leasing the site to a vineyard operator.
Texas vintners may also argue that destruction of the vineyard would be

The university believes that the vineyard is no longer a good investment
and has slated its destruction, said R.D. Burck, UT executive vice
chancellor for business affairs.

"The little vineyard served its purpose and really served it well,"
Burck said. "Now, it's time to pull the grapevines. It costs us $200,000
a year to operate with very little return."

But many Texas vineyard and winery owners, such as Switzer's family,
prize Bakersfield Vineyard, which has produced valuable research on
pruning and grafting vines, disease and insect control and surviving
Texas' extreme weather conditions.

Research that could boost efforts to have hearty, tasty Texas grapes is
important because Texas, with its weather extremes, does not grow enough
grapes to satisfy the demands of the state's 28 wineries, the owners
say. Some have had to buy grapes from out-of-state vineyards and
European suppliers.

The closing of Bakersfield Vineyard will mean that fewer varieties of
grapes - merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, for example - will
be grown in Texas, said Lisa Allen, operations manager for Texas Wine
and Grape Growers Association in Grapevine. Additionally, there are
specific types of grapes growing at Bakersfield Vineyard that are found
nowhere else in the state.

"That will mean they'll be extinct in Texas if the vines are destroyed,"
Allen said.

"To lose a complete experimental vineyard is a huge loss," she said.
"The only way the industry improves and grows is through rsearch and
improving your product. This is really going to set-back."

The state has only one other research vineyard, operated by the
horticulture department of Texas A&M University, Allen said. That
program must deal with extreme pressure to keep costs down amid
continued budget cuts, she said.

The experimental 20-acre Bakersfield Vineyard, which includes 15 acres
of grapevines, was started in the mid-1970s as a secondary source of
income, Burck said.

Before the vineyard's creation, all of the university's 2.1 million
acres of Texas land had been used for oil and gas leases, or for grazing
cattle, sheep and goats, Burck said.

"We wanted to know if we could viably grow products like grapes, almonds
and pistachios, so we established an experimental vineyard to see
whether grapes could be commercially grown. Through the years, we
determined that yes, grapes are a viable crop in Texas," Burck said.

The experiment was so successful that the university established a
1,000-acre vineyard across the road, which it leases to Ste. Genevieve
Wines, Burck said. Ste. Genevieve, which is co-owned by Texan Leonard
Garcia and the French company Domaine Cordier U.S.A., produces more than
60 percent of all wine in the state, according to Texas Wine Marketing
Research Institute.

But it's time to close the door on that chapter in grape research, said
Steve Hartmann, executive director of University of Texas Lands - West
Texas Operations, who has been part of the Bakersfield project from the

"It was started with a very specific purpose, to establish whether wine
grapes could be grown on university lands. It was never intended to be a
facility to support activity in the state or industry as a whole. We did
share information with others, however," Hartmann said. "Now it's time
to do something different. We accomplished what we set out to do, and to
continue to spend money after the fact, so to speak, is certainly not in
the best interest of the university."

Burck said that the Board of Regents discussed the issue at length
before deciding to demolish the vineyard. He added that the state
legislature did not appropriate funds this year to support the vineyard
as it has in the past.

In a letter to state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, Burck wrote,
"The experimental vineyards is being closed because line-item funding
previously in the budget of UT System was eliminated in the past
legislative session."

The university plans to lease the land to cattle ranchers, said Madla,
whose district includes Pecos County, where Bakersfield Vineyard is
located. But he added, "You couldn't graze one head of cattle on 20
acres out there. It's barren land, almost desert."

Switzer has offered to lease the property for $3,000 per year and
produce grapes.

The university was not interested because the revenue would not be enough to justify the lease, Hartmann said.


August 19, 1997

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Juan Ortiz Chavez

Juan Ortiz Chavez, 43, died Sunday, Aug. 17, 1997, at Medical Center
Hospital in Odessa.

A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at Pecos Funeral
Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood

He was born May 7, 1954 in Pecos and was a Catholic.

Survivors include: three daughters, Myra Aguilar of Roswell, N.M.,
Melissa Chavez of Fresno, Calif. and Michelle Gomez; his mother,
Christina Sanchez of Pecos; two brothers, Grabriel and Bennie Chavez of
Lubbock; seven sisters, Tacha Mendoza of California, Socorro Mesa, Lidia
Perez, Mary Varela and Bertha Cermazo of Pecos, Paula Chavez of Odessa
and Isabel Garcia of Hobbs, N.M.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Amelia Acosta Espinosa

Ameila Acosta Espinosa, 72, of San Angelo, formerly of Pecos, died
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1997 in Baptist Memorial Hospital.

Mass was held Friday, Aug. 8, at Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart
with Father Pablo Matta officiating. Burial was in Miles Cemetery.

She was born July 12, 1925, in Presidio, lived in Pecos until 1955 when
she moved to San Angelo, was a homemaker and a Catholic.

She was preceded in death by her husband Guadalupe G. Espinosa.

Survivors include four daughters, Elena Casarez of Abilene, Ilda Leyva,
Linda Montes and Amelia Espinosa of San Angelo; two sons, Guadalupe and
Juan Espinosa of San Angelo; two brothers, Manuel Acosta of Carlsbad,
N.M., Alvaro Acosta of El Paso; 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


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PECOS, August 19, 1997 - High Monday, 95, low this morning, 71.
Precipitation in the last 24 hours totaled .03 of and inch bringing the
monthly total to 1.54 inches and the yearly total to 6.48 inches. In
West Texas, the chance of thunderstorms will end tonight. Lows tonight
will be in the 60s and 70s in West Texas with highs Wednesday in the 80s
and 90s. Showers and thunderstorms were reported in West Texas from
Lubbock to Tahoka to Childress before dawn today.|

State News
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Dallas Morning News
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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
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