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

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November 20, 1997

City seeks additional sources of water

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Modern Study Club members were "amazed and dismayed" by Pecos Water Superintendent Octavio Garcia at a recent meeting, says club president Joyce Morton.

Garcia told club members that the city's two water fields, if subjected to continued constant use, had only 9 to 14 years of life expectancy left. Poor water quality in Pecos is due to the heavy demand placed on the aquifer that results in low water levels, he said. Garcia added that as the water level goes down, the impurities grow more concentrated.

The Pecos water department is looking to incorporate new water fields for the city's use. Garcia said that the city now owns a water field several miles south of town along U.S. 285 that has two wells that produce good quality water. It remains only a matter of connecting these new wells to the city's pipeline to extend the life expectancy of the Pecos water supply.

Garcia shared several tips with the members of the study club that, if followed, would conserve water and benefit the entire community. They are simple procedures like turning off the water while brushing your teeth; not letting excess water run into the street while washing your car; installing water saving devices to shower heads and commodes; taking shorter showers and using less water in the tub; mulching plant beds; adjusting water heaters to lower settings; and fixing water leaks.

All of these water conservation practices will help to ensure that Pecos has a healthy supply of water for many years to come, Garcia said.

West-side looses water pressure

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Members of the Modern Study Club who heard Octavio Garcia, Pecos City Water Superintendent, recently speak on the predicted 14-year life-span of the city's water supply might have thought the aquifer ran out of water prematurely yesterday when water stopped flowing through pipes on the west side of town.

But such was not the case.

"We had a booster pump at the station go out," Garcia said. "The auto switch went off."

Garcia said the booster pump was out of commission for about 20 minutes yesterday before an electrician was able to turn the pump back on manually.

"Most of the west side of town was affected," Garcia said.

Students celebrate National Book Week

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Bessie Haynes Elementary school students are having fun while enhancing their reading skills.

The students are celebrating National Children's Book Week, with different activities held in conjunction with reading.

Any Time is Book Time - is the theme chosen by the Children's Book Council for its 78th annual observance.

Each November, during the week before Thanksgiving, Book Week is celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores and homes around the country.

"We've really been enjoying ourselves," said Bessie Haynes Librarian Cynthia Armbruster.

Armbruster has been working on activities to encourage children to check out more books and to enjoy reading.

To celebrate Book Week at Bessie Haynes, the students are having book talks, according to Armbruster.

"This is one of the things we are doing during this week and I'm very pleased with the students, because they voluntarily signed up to do this," said Armbruster.

Each class will sit on blankets and pillows on the floor and share their favorite books with each other .

"The students have been doing a great job on their reading," said Armbruster.

"We, at Bessie Haynes, are getting ready for a Hank the Cowdog presentation. This will be on Jan. 30," said Armbruster.

Armbruster stated that the students are learning as much as they can about Hank the Cowdog and his many adventures.

Another incentive to read, currently being held at the school, is the earning of points through reading.

"The students get to spend their 'points' whenever they want to, or save them for a bigger prize," said Armbruster.

The points are given according to how well the students score, after having read a book, and how difficult the book was. The points are then given to each child after being tested through computers and the students can either accumulate them or 'spend' them.

"Prizes range anywhere from pencils, erasers, to jam boxes, footballs, volleyballs and Roller Blades," said Armbruster.

New Border Patrol agents on the way

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Congress has approved the addition of 1,000 Border Patrol agents with new equipment and technology such as infrared scopes, night vision scopes, radios and unmanned aerial vehicles, for patroling the U.S./Mexican border.

"This bill is important not only because it increases the number of Border Patrol agents," said U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla, "but also because it provides those agents with updated equipment and buildings."

Various construction and renovation projects for Border Patrol stations in Del Rio, Laredo, El Paso, Presidio, Alpine, Sierra Blanca and Marfa are included in the bill.

According to Bonilla's Press Secretary Angela Rogers, Immigration and Naturalization Services will determine how the new resources are allocated.

"Halting the flow of drugs and illegal immigration across our borders is a tough job," Bonilla said. "Having enough manpower and the right equipment makes our Border Patrol's job just a little easier."

Group collecting for Christmas

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Keeping children warm and in school is the main objective of a group of individuals who call themselves Christmas for the Kids.

Christmas for the Kids provides the essentials that children need and should have in our community, according to Sofia Baeza, program coordinator.

Members of the group, and other volunteers, will conduct a door-to-door drive beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22.

"We have a lot of volunteers already, but a special group of volunteers will be the athletic department from Pecos High School," said Baeza.

Coach Mike Belew and his staff will be overseeing the students who will be participating. All participants will be wearing a name tag, according to Baeza.

"This will involve all the athletics, not just the football team," said Baeza.

The group will be collecting monetary donations, and welcome any kind of donations regardless of how small or big.

In conjunction, volunteers from the Pecos Fire Department and Ambulance Service will be stationed at the corners of Third and Cedar streets and 7th and Eddy streets collecting for the same cause.

"We want to provide a happy holiday for as many children in the community as we can," said Baeza.

Those who would like to be recipients of Christmas for Kids presents can pick up applications at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department.

"We already have over 40 applications and are looking forward to serving more," said Baeza.

Not only does the group provide clothing, shoes and jackets, but they also strive to help with school supplies and other necessities the children might have, according to Baeza.

Jury finds Rayos guilty of assault

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Gilbert Rayos Jr. is guilty of assault causing bodily injury, a 143rd District Court jury found Wednesday, then sentenced him to 30 days in state jail.

Because Rayos has no prior felony conviction, he is eligible for community supervision, which the jury recommended.

Rayos was charged with aggravated assault on Ruben Mendoza July 21, 1996. The jury heard testimony that Rayos held Mendoza's arms while Gabriel Gonzales struck him in the face or head with a shovel handle.

An earlier indictment alleged that Rayos was guilty of criminal conspiracy because he handed Gonzales the shovel. However, that indictment was dismissed in favor of the aggravated assault charge.

Michelle Hernandez testified Wednesday that she was with Rayos during the attack at the Eddy Street car wash, and he took no part in it.

Obviously surprising District Attorney Randy Reynolds, Hernandez testified that the attack followed an incident at a wedding dance where Mendoza slapped her sister, Manuela Hernandez.

Earlier testimony established that Manuela Hernandez was 16 at the time and pregnant with Mendoza's child. They were later married.

Michelle Hernandez testified that she told Mendoza he "was going to get it" for slapping her sister.

"And he got it, didn't he?" asked Reynolds.

"Yes, but not because I told them to do it," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she did not report her part in the incident to police and did not testify at the trial of her cousin, Gabriel Gonzales, who was convicted of aggravated assault.

"You have never come to the police and told them the story?" asked Reynolds.

"I did two days after. I went to the sheriff's office and told his dad," Hernandez said.

Rayos father, Gilbert Rayos Sr., is a sheriff's deputy. Hernandez said she gave him a written statement.

Reynolds immediately turned to his investigator, Orlando Franco, and asked him to get the statement.

Defense attorney Jeff Parras offered his copy of the statement, which Reynolds used to question Hernandez.

Hernandez said she left the dance with Rayos, a close friend, to find Gonzales. She said Gonzales got in the truck with them and they took him to his house to change clothes.

"More friends showed up and went into his house," Hernandez said.

As they left Gonzales' house to look for Mendoza, Hernandez said she told them "to forget about it because I didn't want him to get into trouble. Then they stopped us there by Sonic."

In earlier testimony, Lupe Mendoza said they stopped by Sonic, and Ruben Mendoza got out of the car, taking a steering-wheel locking device used as a club. He swung the club at Gonzales, breaking out a window in the car.

Hernandez said that after they gathered at the car wash, Mendoza and Gonzales fought.

"A lot of people drove up. They were just watching a one-on-one confrontation," she said. "Nobody assisted Gabriel until Lupe went in and hit him in the back of the head. That's when they jumped in on Lupe. Then more went in on Ruben after he was already down," Hernandez said.

Lupe Mendoza testified Tuesday that she grabbed a tire iron and went to her brother's aid when about eight men jumped him.

Damion Arreguy testified that he and two friends happened onto the scene and stopped "to see what was going on." He said Rayos did not take part in the fight.

"He was around there, but he wasn't in it," he said. "He was standing next to a female."

He said when police arrived they told everyone to leave, and no one ever asked him to give a statement.

In cross examination, Reynolds established a family relationship between Arreguy and Rayos.

Testimony concluded shortly after lunch. The charge to the jury and closing arguments by the attorneys were completed at 3:20 p.m. The jury completed deliberations on the punishment at 7:20 p.m.


PECOS, November 20, 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, 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.


Christopher Michael Ephriam, 25, 2200 S. Missouri, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 on a warrant for robbery, a second degree felony.


A black leather purse containing $50 was stolen from the Circle M bar before 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 12.


Louie Rayos, 25, 1501 Johnson St., was arrested at 5:07 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Pecos Police Department on a warrant for terroristic threat.


PECOS, November 20, 1997 - Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 in reward for information leading to the arrest and Grand Jury indictment of person(s) responsible for the incident described below. Anyone having any information on this crime or any other crime can call "Crime Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.

On Sept. 26, 1997 at approximately 9:59 p.m., the Pecos Police Department responded to the burglary of a habitation located at 1123 East Eighth Street. Sometime between noon and 10 p.m., a person or persons entered the residence and removed a gun rack and a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle from a southwest bedroom.


November 20, 1997

Bernardo Pena

Bernado "Chapo" Pena, 94, died Monday, Nov. 17, 1997, at Reeves County Hospital.

Mass was held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Barstow Cemetery.

Pena was born Aug. 20, 1903, in Fort Stockton. He was a lifetime Barstow resident and a Catholic.

He was proceeded in death by his wife, Elena Evaro Pena.

Survivors include: four sons, Matilde and Luis Pena of Barstow, Emilio Pena of Wickett and Manuel Pena of Midland; two daughters, Ernestina P. Natividad of Pecos and Juanita Muniz of Monahans; and numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and great-great grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, November 20, 1997 - High Wednesday, 75, low this morning, 57. It will be warmer across all of Texas tonight and Friday. West Texas will have variable high clouds tonight and sunny skies on Friday. Some patchy early morning fog is expected early Friday. Lows tonight will be in the 20s and 30s in West Texas. Highs Friday will be in the 50s and 60s over most of West Texas, ranging upward into the 70s in the Big Bend area.

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