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September 25, 1997

Fans asked to support food bank

Monahans High School football fans are urged to bring a can of food to the Homecoming Game this Friday and to every home football game until the end of the season.

The reason: Members of the FTA, PAL and Drama Club sponsor Can-Per-Fan and have for five years.

Those cans of food are distributed to feed those less fortunate in Ward County.

Says a Can-Per-Fan statement: "Please bring a can of food to the home football games and help feed-the-need in Ward County.

Johnson gets six years for evidence
tampering in death of Calloway

W.C. "Dub" Johnson has been ordered to serve six years in a state prison for violating his probation on a dope dealing conviction by tampering with evidence in the over dose death of a Monahans woman.

Judge Bob Parks of the 143 Judicial District issued the ruling on Thursday, Sept. 18.

The state had asked that Johnson's probation be revoked and that Johnson be remanded to the custody of Texas penitentiary authorities. District Attorney Randall W. Reynolds said the narcotics conviction probation should be revoked because Johnson had consorted with persons with felony criminal records and because he was facing charges for tampering with evidence in the death of Janette Calloway on July 26 by removing a syringe from the death scene.

Calloway died at Johnson's Monahans home.

An autopsy later determined she died from complications caused by an overdose of Chihuahua Black Heroin.

Monahans Police Chief Dave Watts reported Johnson's arrest only a few days after the investigation into Calloway's death began.

Johnson's defense attorney Windel M. Gibson says his client pleaded "true" to the allegations in the motion to revoke his probation.

Instead of the 10 years Johnson had been scheduled to serve for delivery of a controlled substance though, Parks sentenced the elderly heroin merchant to six years in prison on his decision not to contest the revocation.

Gibson says it is probable, because of Johnson's age and assuming no unforeseen actions, that Johnson will be eligible for parole after 18 months to two years. Gibson also says that Johnson is ill, which might eventually become a factor in his potential release on parole.

In the probation revocation order signed by Parks, it was written in pen:

"Under 12.45 of the Texas Penal Code, the court took into consideration the unadjudicated offense of tampering with physical evidence committed on or about July 26, 1997, . . .in assessing punishment."

Mayor wants school trustees to consider
tax abatement for Reif & Company

Mayor David B. Cutbirth wants trustees of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District to consider property tax abatement for economic development.

School trustees indicated they would consider the request.School tax abatement to attract industrey, the mayor says, means jobs.

Without increasing jobs, Cutbirth warns, fewer and fewer students will attend Monahans schools.

Cutbirth told the school board the action was necessary to enhance the area's economic base and provide jobs for the graduates of Monahans High School.

Cutbirth says: "I guess 50 percent of our kids leave town. I'm asking you all to consider this policy, to consider the future of our kids "

Tax abatement, the mayor said, is necessary for economic survival.

"We're looking at diversifying the economy," says Cutbirth, "things that are not based on West Texas Intermediate Crude."

Ward County Commissioners and the Monahans City Council already have adopted such tax abatement policies for investments made by entrepreneurs who come into Ward County with job-creating businesses..

The first project at issue is M.M. Reif & Co., a Philadelphia, Pa., based military web-products manufacturer who hopes to start a plant in Monahans. Initially, Cutbirth notes, Reif's operation means 30 blue-collar jobs and an unknown number of white-collar jobs. In five years, Reif would be projected to mean 75 jobs in Ward County, the mayor projects.

Cutbirth made the plea for school district tax abatement at a meeting of the trustees held at noon on Thursday, Sept. 18.
Under current projections, the mayor told the school board Reif would buy the city-owned Camelot Building and refurbish to meet the manufacturing plant's needs.

Currently, the school district receives no tax money from the Camelot Building because it is owned by the city of Monahans. Property taxes cannot be collected on property owned by a federal, state or local government agency.

The Mayor told the trustees:"You don't abate anything that already is there. What we're doing is talking to people who would come to Monahans and diversify the economy." In the case of Reif, Cutbirth notes the school district would retain about $3,000 a year in property taxes on the about $170,000 Camelot Building, from which the school now receives nothing. The reason - it is owned by the city. Any tax abatement voted now by the school district would be on investment dollars up to six years, Cutbirth says.

So, using the Reif scenario, the district would receive $3,000 a year immediately in property taxes on property which now produces nothing for the schools. At the end of the six years, it would begin to receive about $3,000 a year more for each $200,000 invested at the Camelot, the mayor says.

"Reif is going to buy it," says the mayor of the building. "The purchase price is $170,000. It will go back on the tax roll as soon as we sell it." Cutbirth also says: "Tax abatement is another tool to get economic enhancement. We are paying a certain amount of money for a certain number of jobs."

Rattlesnake bites child

Four-year-old Matt Tucker is reported in good condition at an Odessa hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake about dusk on Friday, Sept. 19, Monahans Police Chief Dave Watts reports.

Matt was bitten, relatives say, when he placed his hand near what the child thought was a gopher hole. The incident occurred at the family home on Highway 18 near Grandfalls.

Says father David: "Matt is scheduled to be coming home (Thursday, Sept. 25) after his third surgery (on Wednesday at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa). He's doing fine."

The surgeries, Tucker says, were to repair damage done by the swelling from the snake bite. Monday, Sept. 22, doctors opened an incision from the tip of his finger to his elbow to relieve the swelling. Tuesday and Wednesday they closed the incision in two separate surgeries.

Responding to a 911 call from Matt's father, four Monahans officers - Sgt. Armando Marin and Patrolmen Alex Ligon, Elias Franco and Scott McGowan - met the ambulance coming into Monahans from Grandfalls and escorted the ambulance carrying Matt to Ward Memorial Hospital.

From Ward Memorial, Matt was transferred to Medical Center Hospital, reports Ward Memorial Deputy Administrator Peggy Vestal.

Tucker says he wants to thank all of those who assisted in the quick treatment for Matt.

Says Tucker: "I especially want to thank Tommy Aguilar, the nurse who helped us.. He was off duty but he stayed to help."

Tucker says the incident occurred just after dark.

David Tucker says their two dogs "were acting snaky and I walked over where some gopher holes were and I didn't see a snake. I went after a flash light. It was about the time we were getting ready to feed."
He says the dogs had been digging out gophers in the past couple of days at his place.

"Matt stuck his hand over by the hold and said to his dog, 'Get that gopher, Yeller."

Yeller is the name of Matt's dog.

David Tucker continues: "Then the snake came out and got Matt.

"He told me, 'Daddy, the rattler bit me.' I asked if he was sure it was a rattler and Matt says, 'He had a flat triangular head about the size of a turtle."

More from David Tucker: "You always hear bad flak about the police. I want you to know there was a cop every where getting us into town (Monahans) and to the hospital. I couldn't believe how they responded."

Sandhill Star Party set Oct. 3

Friends of the Monahans Sandhills and The West Texas Astronomers are co-sponsoring a party for the starts on Friday, Oct. 3, at the Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Stars and public are invited.

According to a statement from the Friends and the West Texas Astronomers based in Midland:

"What: Public Star Party.

"When: Friday, Oct. 3, 1997, 7 p.m.

"Where: "Monahans Sandhills State Park - Main Parking Lot (Interstate 20, Exit 86 (four miles East of Monahans).

"Cost: Free!!! Donations accepted."

Kevin Slay of the Friends and Michael Pierce of The West Texas Astronomers say the special start party in the sandhills "is an effort to promote the enjoyment of astronomy.

Says Slay: ""Telescopes will be available for viewing, or bring your own. In addition, astronomy club members will be present to answer questioned, point out constellations and discuss astronomy in general.

"Everyone is invited to experience the world of astronomy."
More information, telephone Slay at 943-7527.

First State's president appointed
by city to economic board

Charles Wade, president of First State Bank in Monahans has been appointed to the Monahans Economic Development Board effective Oct. 2, says City Manager David Mills.

Wade will take the place of Friaco Hidalgo, whose one year term expires on that date.

Wade also will be serving a one year term and will be subject to reappointment by the City Council.

With Wade's appointment, both Monahans banks are represented on the economic development board.

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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