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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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October 2, 1997

Commissioners waive zoning to attract JV facility

PECOS, October 2, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners, meeting in
emergency session this morning, passed a resolution waving the distance
requirement of a 1,000 feet between location of a proposed juvenile
corrections facility and a residential area.

County and city officials, along with local civic leaders, are working
to get the Texas Youth Commission to locate a juvenile facility here,
one that could eventually create 300 new jobs.

A 120-acre site for the facility has been proposed on Highway 17 near
the old sanitary landfill, across the highway from Green Acres (Lindsey

In order for such a site to be approved, the governing body that has
jurisdiction must waive the 1,000 feet distance requirement. Deadline
for the proposal to locate the facility here is tomorrow, making the
emergency session necessary.

Reward offered on assault suspect

PECOS, October 2, 1997 - A reward is being offered and the FBI has been
called in to help Pecos Police with an aggravated sexual assault case,
according to Pecos Investigator Kelly Davis.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward for any information on the
whereabouts of Felix Ornelas, Jr., also known as "Nunie."

Ornelas is wanted on an outstanding warrant on aggravated sexual assault
and the FBI, out of El Paso, has been called in to help with the

Ornelas is accused of assaulting a female minor June 22 and since then
has disappeared, according to Davis.

Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony.

"This is a very serious matter and we are working hard to solve it and
bring this person in," said Davis.

Carlsbad selected as preferred radioactive dump

By The Associated Press

CARLSBAD, N.M., October 2, 1997 - The U.S. Department of Energy has made
it official - its unopened nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad is the
agency's preferred alternative for storing its radioactive waste.

The selection of a preferred alternative came in the DOE's final
supplemental environmental impact statement on the Waste Isolation Pilot
Plant, designed to bury plutonium-contaminated waste from the nation's
defense industry 2,150 feet underground in ancient salt beds 26 miles
east of Carlsbad.

Energy Secretary Federico Pena still must approve the selection, but
that's expected to be a formality. He will issue a "record of decision"
next month. The selection was criticized by repository opponents.

Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center in
Albuquerque said the Energy Department refuses to choose what is really
the safest alternative: leaving waste slated for WIPP where it is
currently stored at DOE facilities.

"Once again DOE is not choosing the safest and environmentally best and
cheapest alternative," he said.

Plans call for WIPP to open next year pending approval from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is expected to issue a
proposed decision this month, then make a final decision next May. The
state Environment Department also must approve. Its decision could come
in the next few months.

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

West Texas teens get sick
experimenting with seeds

SWEETWATER, Texas (AP) October 2, 1997 - Teens looking for a new way to
get high have stumbled across the common morning glory plant, leading
drug officials to again issue warnings about its potentially lethal

Mental health workers have reported a rash of teens experiencing "bad
trips" after ingesting a mixture containing morning glory seeds, the
Sweetwater Reporter reported.

"Teen-agers are showing up at the local emergency room with what appears
to be symptoms of psychosis," said Sandra Anderson, of the Nolan County
Mental Health Clinic. "These individuals are having wild, vivid,
terrifying hallucinations and are extremely violent."

The substance is locally nicknamed "gordo juice," because lemonade or
another fruit juice is mixed in to mitigate the seeds' bitterness.

Usage of the seeds seems to break out somewhere in Texas every three or
four years, said Jane Maxwell, chief of research for the Texas
Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

"Because it's out there everywhere, kids tend to use it and not
understand how deadly it is," Ms. Maxwell said from her Austin office
Wednesday. "They can go into their back yards, pull it up and use it."

A death in 1975 caused the state to issue its first detailed alert about
misusing the seeds.

According to TCADA, morning glory can cause epileptic convulsions and
gangrene along with adverse psychological effects. The similar jimpson
weed seeds can prompt amnesia, confusion, slurred speech, dry skin and
mouth, and heart palpitations.

Teens usually are the ones who experiment with the seeds, which create a
high similar to LSD.

"We've had instances of kids jumping off a bed onto a concrete floor,
thinking the floor was water and they want to cool off,"' said Donice
Powell, of the Mesquite Country Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Last Friday, it took four policemen and three medical technicians to
restrain a convulsing 90-pound girl thought to have ingested a morning
glory mixture, the Reporter said.

Sweetwater Police Chief Jim Kelley said his department recently has
arrested three people, two of them juveniles, who were acting
aggressively after apparently using the drug. The substance itself,
however, is not illegal.

"The individuals in Sweetwater are making very potent brews and are
drinking it in unknown quantities," Ms. Anderson said. "Basically, there
is no telling what kind of effect the drug will have when made this

Ms. Powell told the newspaper she doesn't know of any other morning
glory abuse outbreaks in area cities, including Abilene, located 30
miles to the east. Ms. Maxwell said she hadn't heard of other recent
problems statewide.

Ms. Anderson warned local students to begin treating fruit juice as they
would candy from a stranger.

"If someone offers you a drink and you're not absolutely positive about
what it is, don't drink it," she said.

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

Utility commission drops cap on pay phone calls


Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) October 2, 1997 - The cost of a local call from one of
Texas' nearly 150,000 pay phones is likely to go up when the state's
25-cent cap on those services is lifted next week.

The Texas Public Utility Commission, bringing the state in line with
federal telecommunications rules, reluctantly voted Wednesday to lift
the cap effective Oct. 8.

"We were definitely unhappy with the FCC pay phone rule," said Pat Wood,
chairman of the PUC. "It's a done deal.

"I'm hopeful that we won't see any gouging and if we do, we have a
couple provisions so that we can come back in and re-regulate those
guys. We're going to have to hear from the public."

The Texas Payphone Association two years ago unsuccessfully asked the
PUC to raise the price cap on local calls to 50 cents. Efforts also have
been mounted to place time limits on local calls. Those have failed.

"You shouldn't assume that just because you have a quarter in your
pocket, you can make a phone call," said Janee Briesemeister of
Consumers Union Southwest Regional Office. "I have no doubt the industry
has clamored for higher rates for years because they have got captive
customers. The FCC was wrong."

Ms. Briesemeister said she doesn't expect rates to go up immediately.
But they will go up, she said.

"The cost of wireless (technology) limits how high the rates will go,
but there is a long way to go up," Ms. Briesemeister said. "How many
blocks are you willing to walk to find a cheaper pay phone?"

A call to the Payphone Association seeking comment was not returned to
The Associated Press Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the PUC put off decisions on whether Southwestern Bell should
be allowed to raise its rates for caller identification, call waiting
and call forwarding services.

"I question whether the time is right for that," Wood said, adding that
a state law judge will be asked to consider the requests.

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

Jaquez seeks another term as District Clerk

PECOS, October 2, 1997 - District Clerk Juana Jaquez will once again run
for the office she has held for the past 11 years.

Jaquez designated herself as treasurer for her re-election campaign when
she filed a treasurer designation with the County Clerk Tuesday, Sept.

"It's a very challenging job and gets more so every year," said Jaquez.

Jaquez states that she opted for re-election because, "I really enjoy my
job. I've always tried to help everyone and will continue to do so."

"You're always learning something new, the legislature is always coming
up with new laws that require that you learn more," said Jaquez.

Jaquez stated that due to the fact that laws and regulations are
continually changing, the reports and everything else involved in her
office have to be changed and done differently.

"My policy is that if I can't help someone, I will refer them to someone
who can," said Jaquez.

Jaquez states that her office staff and herself go out of their way to
help everyone.

"I want to thank everyone for their past confidence in me and hope that
they continue with that confidence by supporting me in my bid for
re-election," said Jaquez.

Local teen dies after falling from tree

PECOS, October 2, 1997 - A recent Pecos High School graduate died this
morning after falling from a tree last night.

Pecos Police are investigating the death of Joseph Lynn Strain, 19, who
fell from a tree in the 500 block of South Cypress Street.

Justice of the Peace Lamberto T. Herrera pronounced Strain dead at about
2 a.m. today at Reeves County Hospital, where he was brought by Pecos
Ambulance Service following the accident.

"Yes, I did order an autopsy," said Herrera, who would not speculate on
the exact cause of Strain's death, preferring to wait until the autopsy
results come back in about two to three weeks.

"About 11:15 p.m. we received information that somebody had fallen from
a tree behind 514 S. Cypress St.," Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said
this morning. "When the officers arrived there were three subjects there
and one lying on the ground."

Strain reportedly suffered severe head injuries when he fell from the
large tree near the alleyway of the 500 block of South Cypress Street.
"Since he did die, we're investigating it to find out the cause," Moore
said. "We've been taking photos of the site, and we're trying to find
out right now if he was on a weak limb."

Strain graduated from Pecos High School in May. He was a three-year
varsity starter on the Eagles' football team, earning All-District
honors at defensive end and linebacker during his junior and senior
years and All-Regional honors in 1996.

He also was a member of the Eagles' varsity baseball team for three
seasons and was the starting first baseman for Pecos his senior year.

"It's a real tragedy," said Pecos Eagles' football coach Mike Belew, who
coached Strain as a senior. "Hector Lozano (who graduated last May with
Strain) called last night about 3:30 to tell me about it. I feel
terrible for his family. It really is a tragedy."

Moore said he was not aware of alcohol being involved in the accident,
while adding he couldn't be certain until the investigation was

Strain survived a brush with death earlier this year, when the pickup he
was driving rolled over in the early morning hours of March 11, ejecting
him from the vehicle.

Department of Public Safety Cpl. Emmit Moore, who investigated the March
accident, said Strain lost control while trying to negotiate a curve in
the 2300 block of West 'F' Street. Strain was treated for cuts and
bruises from the wreck, while a passenger, Eric Muniz, 16, suffered a
fractured ankle as a result of the rollover and was taken to Midland
Memorial Hospital.

Strain was cited for failing to control speed and not wearing a seat
belt. Muniz received one citation for not wearing a seat belt.

Pecos Attorney wins 3-in-a-row

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 2, 1997 - Pecos attorney Jeff Parras won his third jury
verdict of the week yesterday in Reeves County Court-at-law.

Jurors deliberated less than 20 minutes before acquitting Oscar Q.
Hernandez of public lewdness.

County Attorney Walter Holcombe called numerous witnesses, most
employees of Anchor West, where Hernandez allegedly kissed and fondled a
co-worker, Suzanne Janet Carrasco, without her consent on April 20.

In his brief opening statement, Parras said that none of the prosecution
witnesses saw the alleged incident. He asked the jury not to form an
opinion until he had presented his case. Testimony began about 1:30
p.m., and the jury began deliberating at 6:38 p.m.

Parras' first victory this week was on a juvenile case, and the records
are sealed.

On Tuesday, Parras defended Terry Rubio Carrasco on charge of assault.
That jury deliberated nearly an hour before acquitting Carrasco.

She allegedly assaulted Ester Baeza on Sept. 2 by hitting her in the
face with a bottle.

County court-at-law judge Lee Green presided for the three jury trials.


PECOS, October 2, 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
Surety, 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.


A male juvenile was arrested at 9:55 p.m. Sept. 30 in the 1500 block of
Cowan for a curfew violation.


Jose Luis Ortiz, Jr. was arrested at 1:23 a.m. Oct. 1 on a capias pro
fine warrant service.


Chasedy Alvares was arrested at 1:23 a.m. Oct. 1 for resisting arrest in
the 800 block of S. Eddy and for capias pro fine warrants at the same


A possible stabbing was reported in Balmorhea at 7:40 p.m. on Sept. 26.


Roberto Ybarra was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at G&G Wrecker at
Highway 285 and I-20 on a motion to revoke (probation for theft).


On Sept 17, at 9:30 a.m., a complaint of telephone harassment was made
in reference to retaliation against recent testimony given by the victim.


On Sept. 17, Santos Lopez was reported missing, after leaving for a trip
to Carlsbad, NM with a friend three weeks prior. He had been driving a
1990 Camero.


Eric Carrasco, 24, was arrested at 2:20 a.m. Sept 13 at 15th and Walnut
for public intoxication and resisting arrest.


On Sept. 17, the theft of a .22 caliber rifle from a residence on S.
Dallas St. in Balmorhea was reported.


Modesto Tirado Saavedra, 58, of La Blanca was arrested at 10:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 on Highway 1450 for public intoxication.


A burglary in which a VCR valued at $250 by its owner was stolen was
reported at 3:50 p.m. Sept. 23.


Guadalupe Venegas, 26, 1218 E. 6th, was arrested at 6:22 p.m. Sept. 18
during a traffic stop for possession with intent to distribute a
controlled substance (cocaine) over four grams but under 200 grams, a
first degree felony.


Frankie Menchaca, 24, 115 N. Alamo, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Sept. 28
for criminal trespass at the Pecos Housing Authority apartments on


Criminal mischief was reported at a residence on County Road 314 at 8:34
a.m. Sept 23. A fence, gate and mailbox were damaged.


Mary Dominguez

PECOS, October 2, - Mary D. Dominguez, 71, died Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1997, at Odessa Regional Hospital.

A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, at Pecos Funeral
Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial will be in Mount
Evergreen Cemetery.

Dominguez was born Oct. 16, 1925, was a homemaker, a lifelong Pecos
resident and a Catholic.

Survivors include: her husband, Natividad Alvarez of Barstow; one son,
Ismael Dominguez, Jr. of Gunnison, Colo.; one step-son, Jesse Alvarez of
Fort Stockton; one daughter, Rebecca Dominguez Gomez of Odessa; one
step-daughter, Carol Guerrero of Barstow; her mother, Carlotta Diaz of
Pecos; two brothers, Ray "Tata" Martinez of Pecos and Manuel Diaz of
Pecos; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and five

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Joseph Strain

Services are incomplete for Joseph Strain, 19, who died in the early
morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 2, 1997, at the Reeves County Hospital.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, October 2, 1997 - High Wednesday, 96, low this morning, 59.
Unseasonably warm weather will continue across Texas through the
weekend. West Texas will have fair skies at night and partly cloudy days
through Friday. There's no mention of any sort of precipitation around
the state. Lows tonight will be in the 50s and 60s in West Texas. Highs
Friday will be in the 90s over most of West Texas except in the
mountains where readings will be in the 80s.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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