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

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November 19, 1997

Gramm-Byrd plan may lead to road repair

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Pecos business and community
leaders yesterday heard about a plan to provide an
additional $1.9 billion for repairs to Texas highways.

Speaking in the Texas-New Mexico Power community room in
Pecos, Margarita Velez, an aide to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm,
said the Gramm-Byrd amendment to the U.S. Senate's
transportation reauthorization bill would increase federal
funds available to states for highway needs from $7.6
billion to $9.5 billion by utilizing revenues generated by
the 1993 gasoline tax increase.

This 4.3 cent gasoline tax increase has been used for
deficit reduction. Through the Gramm-Byrd amendment
(co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., John
Warner, R-Va., and Max Barcus, D-Mont.), Gramm and company
are seeking to redirect the tax monies directly to highways.
"Senator Gramm thought that it (tax money) ought to go to
the highways," Velez said. But even the extra $1.9 million
won't provide for all Texas highway needs.

Velez said that Nafta has created a headache for many and
that law makers hadn't anticipated how much more traffic the
trade agreement would generate. She said that El Paso and
Laredo have been tremendously affected. But the amendment
will not directly lead to an upgrade for U.S. 285 in Texas,
as will New Mexico's section of U.S. 285, in preparation for
the opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near

Hopefully, Velez said, with more money available for
in-state improvements the state may allocate money to widen
and improve the road for hazardous transport.

"Senator Gramm's amendment means jobs for Texas, plain and
simple," said David Laney, Texas Transportation

"Additional funds are critical to address the growing
transportation needs in Texas," he said. "Current funding
allows us to meet about 33 percent of the need. We can put
this money to work for Texas."

Alternate route considered for nuclear waste

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Douglas Eichorst II, Pecos Area
Engineer for Texas Department of Transportation, has been
investigating some alternatives to routing nuclear waste
trucks through Pecos proper on U.S. 285. County Road 117 is
one alternate route under consideration.

"There's not much residential area there," he said, "and it
would be easy to connect with the rest of the (state
highway) system."

Traffic counts on the county road came up shy of the 250
vehicles per day needed for the road to come under the
jurisdiction of the state (more in the 50-100 vehicles per
day range). And, Eichorst said, to change a road to a
Hazardous Cargo Route often takes several years.

But without additional funding, the current district budget
wouldn't be able to provide for upgrading and connecting the
road to the state highway system. Eichorst's off-the-cuff
estimate of what it would cost to connect the road is about
$3 million.

Hospital approves fewer beds, new ambulance

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Reeves County Hospital Board of
Directors voted last night to reduce the number of licensed
beds on the premises. Interim Administrator Terry Andris
told the board that new legislation that includes changes in
reimbursement levels requires the action.

With less than 50 licensed beds, he said, the hospital will
be able to maintain current reimbursement levels and even
get some breaks down the road. Andris said it is only rarely
that the hospital houses more than 15-16 patients at a time,
and averages during the past year hovered closer to a five

Andris also suggested that should the hospital wish to
increase beds in the future it could license the beds under
different categories such as elder care or detox.

The board approved the purchase of a new ambulance from
McCoy Miller Ambulance out of Duncanville, a 1998 model that
will be built to order and delivered to the hospital within
90 days of purchase. The ambulance was recommended by the
Ambulance Selection Committee and will cost $68,392. The
board also voted not to trade in the old ambulance.

"I don't know if we want to trade that smoker in right now,"
Andris said. Board members agreed that the older ambulance
was still adequate to make local runs.

A new freezer unit ($5,988) for the kitchen and out-patient
area renovation were both approved. The renovation has been
priced at $3,800 and should cut down on congestion in the
front area.

Difficulties in recruitment efforts were discussed and, with
one registered nurse leaving in January, Andris said that
the hospital may have to get an agency nurse to fill in
temporarily. Also, Criselda R. Lara, LDN, was granted full
allied health proffesional privileges based on medical staff

1997 tax rolls, monthly collection report, financial report
and payment of bills were all approved at last night's

Testimony begins in criminal conspiracy trial

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Two women who were with Ruben
Mendoza when he was beaten unconscious last year claim that
Gilbert Rayos Jr. held Mendoza's arms behind his back during
the attack at the Eddy St. car wash.

Lupe Mendoza testified in 143 District Court this morning
that she grabbed a tire tool and went to her brother's aid
as several men swung bats, sticks and a shovel at him while
Rayos held his arms.

Lupe Mendoza's testimony was given as part of the criminal
conspiracy trial of Rayos in connection with the July 21,
1996, beating of Ruben and Lupe Mendoza.

After hitting one of the men with the tire tool, Mendoza
said she was approached from behind, and when she turned,
Charlie Arenivas hit her in the face with a shovel, knocking
her unconscious for a week.

Alma Fuentez testified Tuesday that she was with Lupe and
Ruben Mendoza when they left a dance at Saragosa Hall
following an altercation with a group of men.

The men followed in a red car, a brown car and a "blue,
junky truck," Fuentez said. When the truck tried to block
their exit from the North Side Park, she saw the driver,
whom she identified as the defendant.

A short time later, the red car stopped near Sonic Drive-In,
and Ruben Mendoza approached it with a metal club used to
secure automobile steering wheels, Fuentez said. He swung
the club at Gabriel Gonzales and knocked out a window in the
car, she said.

Leaving that scene, the group drove to Eddy St., where they
encountered Joe Villa and stopped at the car wash.

Lupe Mendoza, who was driving, said the burgundy car drove
up beside her car and Rayos drove the blue truck in front,
blocking her exit.

Ruben Mendoza got out of the car, taking the red club to
fend off "about eight" men wielding sticks and bats, the two
women testified. Both women said they saw Rayos take a
shovel out of the truck bed and hand it to Gabriel Gonzales.
Gonzales was previously convicted of aggravated assault on
Ruben Mendoza.

Rayos grabbed Mendoza's arms after he stumbled and fell to
the ground while swinging the club, the women testified.
Fuentez said that Rayos also kicked and stomped Mendoza.

Rayos is charged with criminal conspiracy for his part in
the attack.

Fuentez said the men broke off the attack when she got out
of the car and screamed that the cops were coming.

"Ruben didn't move. I thought he was dead," Fuentez said.
"His face was covered up with blood."

Get rid of scrap tires for free

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Disposing of scrap tires will be
easier until the end of the year, according to Reeves County
Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"We have a window of opportunity from now until the end of
the year, to dispose of used tires at no cost to the
consumer," said Galindo. "This is the county's opportunity
to get rid of all these tires."

Safe Tire Disposal, out of Midlothian, is providing a
trailer for the county's use to haul away scrap tires. The
trailer is currently parked at Hector's Tire and Service,
5102 S. Cedar, and was parked in Toyah last week.

"We picked up a big load from Toyah and this trailer is full
already," said Reeves County Road and Bridges Administrator
Russ Salcido. "They're going to come pick this one up today
and park another one here," he said.

Galindo and others working in conjunction with the project
would like county residents to bring their old tires to
where the semi-truck is currently parked or to call
Galindo's office for the location of where to go to dispose
of the scrap tires at 445-5418 and ask for Anita Baeza.

"They're not charging us anything to come pick up the tires
at this time," said Galindo.

A story which appeared in the Pecos Enterprise on Nov. 12
stated that Safe Tire Disposal would impose a fee for a
trailer load of tires to pay the tire scrappers. However,
that fee won't be implemented until the beginning of next

"We want to dispose of as many tires as we can before then,"
said Galindo.

The project is in cooperation with the Safe Tire Disposal
Company and Reeves County and is overseen by Galindo with
the help of Baeza and the Road and Bridges Department.

Smithers appoints new manager

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - Ted L. Yost has joined Smithers
Scientific Services Inc. as general manager of its
automotive proving grounds in Pecos. He will be responsible
for the day-to-day operations of the test center for
analytical testing of tires, vehicles and vehicle components.

Yost brings to Smithers more than 33 years of tire
manufacturing, marketing and technical experience, most
recently as vice president of operations and plant manager
at Fidelity Tire Manufacturing Co. His background also
includes 22 years at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in
positions ranging from manufacturing to technical manager.
He also worked as a technical director at Sumitomo Rubber
Industries Ltd.

Yost holds a Masters degree in industrial management from
Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in
political science and economics from Drake University.

Yost and his wife, Pat, reside in Monahans.

Smithers is a leading independent testing, research and
management consulting firm, serving an international client
base in the tire, automotive, elastomerics, chemicals,
plastics, medical goods and marine industries.

Search continues for missing plane

PECOS, November 19, 1997 - The Civil Air Patrol is still
looking for a missing Cessna 180 that had been on route to
Van Horn last Thursday from Bryan, Texas.

Dennis Blanchard, owner of Pecos Municipal Airport, said
that there hasn't been any word yet but the wife of the
pilot had called him two or three times searching for

Anyone with anything to report on the missing plane can call
the primary mission base in Georgetown at (512) 869-3349, or
the secondary base in Fort Stockton at (915) 336-7009.

The plane went missing between 8 p.m. and midnight on
Thursday, November 13.


Miguel and Angel Gabaldon

Miguel and Angel Gabaldon, infants, died Monday, Nov. 17, at
Reeves County Hospital.

They were born Nov. 17, at Reeves County Hospital and were

Graveside services are scheduled for 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov.
19, at Fairview Cemetery with Father Juan Narez officiating.

Survivors include: their parents, Miguel and Velma Gabaldon
of Pecos; grandparents, Gregorio Gabaldon and Mary De Carmen
of Chihuahua, Mexico; and one sister, Christina Gabaldon of

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, November 19, 1997 - High Tuesday, 67, low this
morning, 30. Temperatures over Texas are warming, but still
the National Weather Service advised residents to drive with
extreme caution today. The trouble, rather than snowy or
rain-slick highways, was fog. The weather service issued a
dense fog advisory through mid-morning for all of North
Texas except the northwestern and southeastern thirds. The
advisory area was generally southeast of a line from Sherman
to Weatherford to Brady and northwest of a line from
Marshall to Athens to Franklin. Meteorologists blamed the
fog on light wind and a very moist lower atmosphere. But the
fog was expected to burn off within a couple of hours of
sunrise. With early morning temperatures in the 30s, wind
chill factors were minimal because of light and variable
winds. West Texas skies remained mostly fair and fog free.
Overnight, temperatures across Texas ranged from the low 30s
in the Panhandle to the middle 50s over the lower Rio Grande

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

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