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September 11, 1997

Drinking and driving laws get tougher on teens

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 11, 1997 - Laws regarding minors buying, possessing or
consuming alcoholic beverages became stronger Sept. 1, with a "zero
tolerance" provision for anyone under the age of 21 caught driving after
having consumed any detectable amount of alcohol, and tough consequences
for those charged with other alcohol-related offenses.

"Statewide, the statistics show us that there are more people under 21
that are being killed in alcohol-related crashes - that is the reason
for the zero tolerance law," said Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Agent John Deering. Deering was in Pecos Tuesday to brief members of the
Pecos Police Department on changes to the law.

During 1995 and 1996, Deering said, a teenage DWI (Driving While
Intoxicated) task force studied the issue, and found that teens weren't
really worried about being fined. "They were more concerned with having
their drivers' licenses," he said. Now, those licenses can be suspended,
and for increasing amounts of time, if a minor commits additional

License suspension not only affects them legally, but socially, Deering
said, because it takes away the freedom which young people value so

"A lot of kids need to realize that driving is a privilege which can be
taken away from them," Deering said.

Deering also pointed out that if someone is caught driving while their
license is suspended, their license could be suspended for an additional
year on a driving while license suspended charge. That additional year
could be added at the end of the period for which the license was
already suspended.

Locally, "we do have minors drinking, and it seems to pick up during the
school year," said Lieutenant Kelly Davis, a Pecos Police Department

"The weekends become more important to them" than over the summer, Davis

"I'm really pleased with the new zero tolerance law," added Davis.

He explained that zero tolerance means that minors can't even have
alcohol on their breath, or have any detectable amount in their system
if they're tested.

There are a wide array of alcohol-related crimes that minors can be
involved in. Those that Deering covered in his briefing yesterday were
purchase of alcohol by a minor, attempt to purchase alcohol by a minor,
sale to minors, consumption of alcohol by a minor, driving under the
influence of alcohol by a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor,
purchase of alcohol for a minor/furnishing alcohol to a minor and
misrepresentation of age by a minor.

If a minor is convicted of consumption while driving under the zero
tolerance law (Section 106.041), they are subject to various penalties.
Consumption while driving is defined as "operates a motor vehicle in a
public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the
minor's system."

The first offense is a Class-C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up
to $500, mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness course, 20-40
hours of community service relating to alcohol education, 60 days TDL
(Texas Driver's License) suspension and 30 days not eligible for an
occupational license. This charge cannot be a lesser included offense of

The second offense is also a Class-C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine
of up to $500. Another alcohol awareness course can be assigned at the
judge's option. Community service relating to alcohol education goes up
to 40-60 hours, with a 120 day TDL suspension, 90 days ineligible for an
occupational license, and cannot be a lesser included offense of DWI.

If there is a third offense, punishment depends upon whether the minor
is under 17 or over.

If under 17, the minor faces 180 days TDL suspension and is ineligible
for an occupational license for the entire suspension period. They are
not eligible for deferred adjudication, and this cannot be a lesser
included offense of DWI. In Juvenile Court, they can be charged with
Delinquent Conduct or adjudicated as an adult in criminal court.

If a person charged with a crime receives deferred adjudication, and
isn't caught committing another offense within the period of
adjudication, the offense will be erased from their record after the set
period of time is up.

Seventeen to 20-year-olds who commit a third consumption while driving
offense will be charged with a Class-B misdemeanor. They face a fine
between $500 and $2,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to 180 days,
180 days TDL suspension, plus ineligibility for an occupational license
for the entire suspension period and ineligibility for deferred
adjudication. Once again, it cannot be a lesser included offense of DWI.

Making alcohol available to a minor increased from a Class-C to a
Class-B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 180
days jail time.

Sale to a Minor is a Class-A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine
not to exceed $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed
one year.

Purchase, attempt to purchase, possession, misrepresentation of age,
consumption (3rd offense not eligible for deferred adjudication) and
public intoxication by a minor (49.02 Texas Penal Code) are also
offenses with a graduated scale of punishments.

First offenses are Class-C misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to
$500, mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness course, 8-12 hours of
community service relating to alcohol education, and 30 days TDL
suspension or denial.

Second offenses are also Class-C misdemeanors, with the same fine as
above, and an additional alcohol awareness course can be assigned at the
judge's option. There can also be 20-40 hours of community service
relating to alcohol education and 60 days TDL suspension or denial.

Punishment for a third offense in one of these categories also depends
on the age of the offender. If they are under 17, they face 180 days TDL
suspension or denial, and can either be seen in Juvenile Court as a
Child in Need of Supervision, or adjudicated as an adult in criminal

A third offense by someone between the ages of 17 and 20 is a Class-B
misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $250 and $2,000 and/or
confinement in jail for up to 180 days, an alcohol awareness course
(judge's option) and 180 days of TDL suspension or denial.

The law regarding tobacco and teens also became tougher on Sept. 1.
Before then, teens under 17 could not legally buy any type of tobacco
product, but it was not illegal for them to use the products.

Now, nobody under the age of 17 can buy, possess or consume tobacco
products, "but people may not be aware of that," said Davis. Any of
these offenses is now a Class-C misdemeanor and punishable by a fine, he said.

Safety concerns draw feds' attention to rails

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Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) September 11, 1997 - Seven deaths in three train
collisions pointed to significant safety problems at the nation's
largest freight railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration cracked

A two-week investigation found Union Pacific crews working long hours,
harassment of employees who reported safety problems and inadequate
training of dispatchers and other employees.

Those problems must be corrected, said agency Administrator Jolene
Molitoris in releasing her agency's report Wednesday. "Until they
eliminate death and injury from this railroad, their job is not
finished," she said.

Union Pacific President Jerry Davis said his railroad is committed to
working with the federal agency and with the railroad's labor unions to
fix the problems.

"When we're hurting people on this railroad, we want the same things,"
Davis said. "And that is to quite hurting people and to run a safe

The railroad hauls automobiles, coal and other products on 35,000 lines
from Chicago west across the country and into Canada and Mexico.

In an unprecedented move, the railroad administration will station a
safety regulator at Union Pacific's headquarters to monitor safety.

"The size of this railroad calls for different and unique fixes to what
we consider serious deficiencies," FRA spokesman David Bolger said.

The step is one of several that the federal agency is taking after its
investigation found problems including fatigue, defective equipment
crews left on trains after their hours of service had expired.

"You can't be tired and be safe," Molitoris said.

Union Pacific will be fined for alleged violations discovered during its
16-day inspection by 90 investigators, but the number and size of the
fines is not yet known, Molitoris said. Bolger said one federal railroad
administration official will remain at Union Pacific in Omaha to work
with railroad executives.

The agency's investigation was triggered by train collisions that killed
seven people since June.

Union Pacific said it will increase training of its dispatchers, hire
more dispatchers and within 30 days develop a policy in cooperation with
the federal agency and the railroad's labor unions to reduce crew

Davis said the fatigue problem will not be solved overnight.

"Railroads operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, holidays," Davis
said. "We don't shut down the railroad because of a weekend. But
certainly, we can do a lot of work with our employees, and the way our
processes are, in calling crews and relieving crews."

Four people were killed in Devine, Texas, in a June accident attributed
to dispatching error in an area of track not covered by automatic
signals. One person was killed in Kansas days later because a train crew
went through a stop signal. Two engineers were killed Aug. 20 near Fort
Worth, Texas, in a train collision that remained under investigation.

"When you have three catastrophic accidents, it tells you something else
is wrong there," said Davis.

Union Pacific will spend $15.5 million to put electronic signals on an
area of dark territory between San Antonio and the Mexican border, Davis
said. Union Pacific will evaluate which of its other tracks might need
similar upgrades.

Union Pacific became the largest railroad last year in its merger with
Southern Pacific Railroad.

The Federal Railroad Administration's report said the merger could have
contributed to Union Pacific's safety problems.

As part of the merger, Union Pacific planned to eliminate 3,400
administrative jobs, bringing the merged railroads to 50,000 employees.
Davis said the administrative jobs would not have affected safety.

Davis said the company planned to hire 1,500 workers by year's end to
help ease the heavy workload. The company also created a hot line for
workers to report safety problems anonymously.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Drug wars mar spirit of Mexican
community as shooting continues

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Associated Press Writer

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) September 11, 1997 - The notorious but
nondescript street corner across from the Plaza Monumental bullring
still bears the scars of the violence that has wounded this community's

Automatic weapons fire has gouged ragged holes in the concrete wall of
Geronimo's Bar & Grill at the intersection of Calle Monumental and Paseo
Triunfo de la Republica, two streets at the center of one of the busiest
commercial districts in a burgeoning city.

Across Monumental, someone has tried unsuccessfully to wipe away blood
smeared on a column guarding the entrance to the Max Fim restaurant,
whose red and green sign offers passers-by drinks and dancing.

This T-shaped intersection, where narrow Monumental empties into the
perpetually congested six-lane thoroughfare, was the flashpoint.

There were other murders before massacres last month at Geronimo's and
Max Fim.

But it was the Aug. 3 killings of six people at Max Fim that served
notice to the city that the drug underworld was likely going to war

The shooting deaths of three men outside Geronimo's on Aug. 31
underscored the fact that the battle might be a long one.

"This worries everybody," said Carlos Salazar, an attorney visiting the
neighborhood recently on business. "We'd like to have a peaceful city."

Ciudad Juarez's citizens have staged marches calling for a halt to the
bloodshed that has engulfed the border city since the July 4 death of
Amado Carrillo Fuentes, reputed head of the Juarez cartel, Mexico's most
powerful drug organization.

At least 18 people, including an El Paso, Texas, college student, have
been killed and several more injured in what authorities are
increasingly speculating is a drug war to control Carrillo's turf.

Residents say they are trying to live normal lives amid the shooting.
But there is an undercurrent of fear and a feeling of powerlessness,
even among those who say the drug skirmishes are unlikely to touch their

"There's nothing we can do but mourn for the dead and hope there will be
a solution soon," said Guadalupe Lucero, who lives in the residential
neighborhood behind the restaurants.

Many residents are particularly troubled that the killings took place in
popular nightspots on Sunday nights, when the bullfight crowd is
thronging an area thick with shopping centers, clubs and restaurants.

Following the fights, Triunfo de la Republica (which means Triumph of
the Republic) is so clogged with cars it's almost impossible to cross on
foot. Trying to get back to the international bridge nearby from the
bullring is worse because motorists have to cross all six lanes to get
headed in the right direction.

The scene is similar on weekdays, though the crowd is different. Most
will be shopping or going to work instead of headed for a night of

Salazar said he has enjoyed several outings with his family in the area
in the past, but is more cautious now.

"You try not to go to public places where there can be problems. You try
to avoid being out late in the street," Salazar said. "These are things
you do mainly to protect your family and your children."

Law enforcement agencies are beefing up to try to stop the violence.
Local leaders insist Juarez is safe.

Still, the police have not solved any of the killings.

Two men arrested within days of the Max Fim massacre are awaiting trial
for murder. But authorities said more than two people were involved.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Minorities cannot compete
with whites, says UT professor

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Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) September 11, 1997 - Racial diversity among students adds
little to their education, a University of Texas law professor says,
adding that "blacks and Mexican Americans can't compete academically
with whites" and come from cultures in which "failure is not looked upon
with disgrace."

Professor Lino Graglia said it's unfortunate that he and his remarks
would be labeled racist. But he said he believes the facts regarding
most minority students' study habits and their educational background
are clear.

He called affirmative action programs attempts to ignore those facts.

"Blacks and Mexican Americans are not academically competitive with
whites in selective institutions," Graglia said.

"It is the result primarily of cultural affects. It seems to be the case
that, various studies seem to show, that blacks and Mexican-Americans
spend much less time in school. They have a culture that seems not to
encourage achievement. Failure is not looked upon with disgrace."

Graglia's comments came Wednesday during the announcement of a new
organization, Students for Equal Opportunity. Graglia is a faculty
advisor for the new student group.

The group supports the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling in the
Hopwood case, which overturned a former admissions policy at the UT Law
School that was intended to boost minority enrollment.

The decision said the school could not consider race in admissions or
financial aid decisions. It has been interpreted to apply to all Texas
colleges and universities.

The UT law school this year expected four blacks and 26
Mexican-Americans among its 468 new students. Final figures won't be
available until Friday. Last year, 31 blacks and 42 Mexican-Americans

Marlen Whitley, a black student and president of the UT student
government, declined to comment on Graglia's statements. He said he was
taught not to respond to ignorance.

Law School Dean M. Michael Sharlot said he was sorry Graglia's comments
would again draw negative attention to the school.

"Mr. Graglia is a member of a very small minority who sees that
perspective," Sharlot said. "This faculty has been committed to having a
diverse student body and remains committed."

Graglia, a professor of constitutional law, said he has blacks and
Mexican-Americans in all of his classes. But he said many professors,
including noted minority faculty outside the UT law school, have found
little positive difference between a diverse classroom and a homogeneous
student body.

Instead, Graglia said, admitting less qualified students because of
their race brings down the class and denies admissions to more qualified
white students.

Marc Levin, president of Students for Equal Opportunity, said his group
welcomes diversity but not affirmative action programs.

"We believe Hopwood is a blessing, not a curse," Levin said. "The
university is already doing everything short of admitting unqualified
students" to attract a diverse student body.

Fadi Agour, 20, an Egyptian-American student and a one-year at-large
representative in the UT student government, said more needs to be done
to attract and maintain minority students.

"You can come out saying 'I never thought of that before,"' Fadi said of
having students in racially mixed classrooms. "I think (Graglia's
comment) is kind of an ignorant statement."

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.|

Get a ride for 50 cents

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 11, 1997 - West Texas Opportunities Inc., based out of
Lamesa, has a great service for the community of Pecos. A public
transportation program, although little known, is in operation in Pecos.
The transport van offers one-way rides anywhere in Pecos for .50 cents.
The Pecos facility of West Texas Opportunities was opened in October of
1995 at 700 Daggett.

"I love it," said Rosie Leija, WTO's local dispatcher, "I really love

"We've advertised on Channel 6 and put flyers in motels, the bus
station, library and hospital," said Ester Alvarez, one of the local

The van will also take you to surrounding areas such as Toyah and
Barstow, and, if you need a ride to Odessa, they can take you as far as
Monahans where another WTO van may take you the rest of the way. The
cost to Monahans is $3.50.

"It's a great service, especially for the elderly," said Janet
Everheart, Executive Director.

"We receive state and federal funds. The Department of Highway and
Public Transportation, Urban Mass Transit . . . also contributions by
cities and counties all help support [the program]," she said.

The offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and
exist in 15 of the 17 West Texas counties.

Jerry Tschauner of the Regional Planning Commission called WTO a "good
resource to go to."

He said that WTO was involved in various programs including
weatherization, utility assistance for the needy, and Head Start. In
fact, WTO runs Head Start programs in seven counties and nine cities in
West Texas.

The local transportation service is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. They may be reached at (915) 447-2277.

PHS assembly gives students direction

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 11, 1997 - Trying to give students direction of where
to find vital information and get them started on the college process
was the focus of a special assembly held at the Pecos High School,
Wednesday morning.

"We want the students to know that we have books in the office that they
can make copies of tests, classes required according to their major and
other important information," said counselor Pat Cobos.

Cobos is one of the counselors at the high school, along with Jim Adams
who want to help senior students find what they need.

This pre-college senior assembly is just one of many special gatherings
planned to give the students an opportunity to ask questions and provide
them with the material needed to find out where they will go following

"At this assembly we handed out packets to each of the seniors
containing the information on the different topics discussed during the

"We want them to know where to go for help, our goal is to have all
senior applications for colleges, universities, tech schools in and
completed by December," said Cobos.

In November the school will be offering the SAT to those who can't go
out of town to take it, according to school officials.

SAT scores have been down in previous years and school officials are
trying to improve on them.

"I think the scores have been down because a lot of these students don't
know that they can take this test more than once," said PHS principal
Danny Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said one of their goals is to improve on these scores and make
the students aware of all the possibilities and items available to help
them achieve their goals.

"We want them to know that they can take the test more than once, that
we can help them with college applications, scholarships, loans,
everything about college," said Rodriguez.
On Nov. 25 all seniors are invited to College Day in Fort Stockton.


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PECOS, September 11, 1997 - EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the
Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police
Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public
Safety, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either
traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are
considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the
fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.


On June 2 at 9:30 a.m. a theft was reported from a pulling unit on
Reeves County Road 424. $6,500 worth of equipment was taken.


Steven Dennis Kenan, 47, of Balmorhea was arrested at 2 p.m. Sept. 4 on
a capias pro fine warrant from Ward County.


Enrique Escontraias, 22, 731 Rancho St., was arrested at 8 p.m. Sept 5
on a warrant for aggravated assault.


Miguel Octavio Baeza, 21, 1630 Cowan, was arrested Sept. 6 at 7:15 p.m.
at the western Club, 9th and Cedar, for public intoxication, a Class C
misdemeanor, and after being searched at the jail, for possession of
marijuana under two ozs., a Class B misdemeanor.


Armando Fernandez, 33, was arrested Sept 4 at 6:43 p.m. in the alley
between 14th and 15th St. by the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Barn for
possession and use or abuse of aerosol paint.


Concepcion Teofilo Garcia, 49, 1253 Martinez St. was arrested at 5:22
p.m. on Sept. 4 public intoxication.


Trever Kyle Anderson, 30, of Monahans was arrested Sept 6 on a warrant
service from Pecos County, paid the fine and was released.


Two 20-speed mountain bicycles were reported stolen from a residence on
Briarwood Circle on Sept. 8.


Dustin C. Caldwell was arrested at 12:25 a.m. Sept 5 at the Purple Sage
nightclub for public intoxication.


Michael R. Aytes was arrested at 12:25 a.m. Sept 5 at the Purple Sage
for public intoxication.


Alonzo Mendoza was arrested at 5:52 p.m. Sept. 5 in the 100 block of
Mulberry on a warrant service.


Elias Sanchez was arrested at 1:10 a.m. Sept. 6 at 5th and Peach for
public intoxication.


Annabell Montanez was arrested at 12:28 p.m. Sept. 6 on 3rd and Walnut
on a warrant for robbery. A $5,000 bond was set.


Omar Garcia was arrested at 5:16 p.m. Sept. 8 on a parole violation


Francisco Menchaca was arrested at 11:38 p.m. Sept. 8 on the 100 block of N. Alamo on a warrant service.


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PECOS, September 11, 1997 - High Thursday, 81, low this morning, 66.
There is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms through Friday
across much of West Texas. It will be clear to partly cloudy and warm
across West Texas. Lows tonight will be in the 50s and 60s. Highs Friday
will be in the 80s and 90s. A few isolated showers dampened portions of
the Edwards Plateau before dawn today. Some light rain also fell in the
El Paso area.|

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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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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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