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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Dec. 25, 1997

Park fund reaches goal

Friends of Monahans Sandhills State Park watched their
Blooming Yucca fund drive hit its $160,000 goal the week
before Christmas, reports Richard J. Hoyer, the treasurer of
the Sandhills Friends board.

The final $25,000 check came from the Monahans-based Dunagan

Dollars from the fund drive will be combined with Texas
Department of Parks and Wildlife dollars for extensive park
enhancement already underway. When finished, the
improvements will have cost about $500,000, according to
state records.

"We signed the check (Thursday, Dec. 18). It was a Christmas
present for the park and its visitors," says Hoyer.
Hoyer says the goal-breaking funds came from the Dunagan
Foundation, of which he is an executive. Kathleen Dunagan,
chair of the Sandhills Friends, is the principal in the

"The $160,000 goal is a reality," says Hoyer. "We've made
our first reimbursement of $120,000 to the state. The park
work, including the renovation and upgrading of the Dunagan
Visitor's Center is scheduled to be finished by Midsummer."
Hoyer urges Sandhills Parks patrons and the citizens of the
Permian Basin to continue mailing their contributions to the
address noted on the Blooming Yucca scale which has marked
the fund drive's progress for a year.

"The Blooming Yucca now has burst out through the dunes on
the scale," says Hoyer.

Hoyer notes work on park roads and parking is nearing
completion. Remodeling of the Dunagan Visitor's Center is on

"The exhibits (housed in the Visitor's Center) are all in
the design and construction stage," reports Hoyer.
Park offices have been moved to the Section House while
work continues.

Korth new park super

Glen Korth, a 16-year-veteran of the Texas Department of
Parks and Wildlife, is the new superintendent of Monahans
Sandhills State Park.

His appointment is effective this December.
"I'm getting settled in," says Korth. "I came out here where
all the good football teams are."

Richard J. Hoyer, financial director of the Friends of
Monahans Sandhills State Park, says of Korth: "The new
superintendent is a Parks and Wildlife man. We just think
he's a wonderful guy. I look for great things."

Korth, 39, succeeds Ken Benad, who spent the last decade of
his 26 years with the department as chief of the unique
dune-sculptured park five miles out of Monahans. Benad
officially retired on Aug. 20. He has been helping with park
in the iterim before Korth's appointment to suceed him.
Benad makes his retirement residence in Monahans and he is
amember of the board of the Friends of Monahans Sandhills
State Park.

Korth, the new Sheherd of the Sandhills, and Benad have more
than parks and wildlife service in common. Both are avid
hunters and fishermen.

The new superintendnet comes to the Sandhills from Lake
Somerville State Park "460 miles South and East of Monahans
in the hills." Lake Somerville is located between Austin and
Bryan-College Station. It boasts rolling hills, forests and

Korth says he looks forward to his tenure in the sandhills
which he notes is a different environment than that of Lake

Korth was graduated from Rockdale High School nd Texas A&M
University. His degree in 1981 was in parks administration.
The new Sandhills Chief has been working with the Texas
Parks and Wildlife since March of, 1981.

His first assignment was in the Birch Creek Unit of Lake
Somerville where he advanced from a seasonal worker in 1981
to assistant manager in 1993.

From January of 1993, he was assigned to the Nails Creek
Unit of Lake Somerville Park where he was manager of the
Park and Wildlife Management Area until his Sandhills
appointment this December.

He and wife, Dee Ann, have no children.

Still in transition from Lake Somerville to Monahans, Korth
says he welcomes the new position .He plans to be fully on
board in January.

"There are many reasons why I caccepted the appointment,"
says Korth. "A major one is the Friends of the Park
organization here. I had read about their fine work through
the years and now I have seen it."

Rains bring early Christmas gift

Gentle rains watered the West Texas desert this week as Ward
County took time off for Christmas.

Several businesses and services, including the Monahans
News, are on special holiday schedules.

Publisher Steve Patterson says the News will close its
offices at noon on Christmas Eve and be closed Christmas
Day. Advertising deadlines for the first week of the New
Year will be 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29.

Students in the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote and
Grandfalls-Royalty school districts are on Christmas recess.
Monahans students return to classes on Jan. 5; Grandfalls
students, Jan. 6.

All government offices and most private ones are closed
Christmas Day. Emergency services still will be available.
Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 22 and 23, weather watcher Bruce
Callaway of Monahans Radio Station KLBO reports 0.30 inches
of rain fell. Christmas Eve, Callaway says, might see some
freezing rain, even a slight chance of snow in Ward County,
but not enough to call a Monahans area Christmas white.

Christmas Day was predicted to be bright with temperatures
in the 50s although more wintry weather is expected by the

Historic Site dons Christmas togs

FORT DAVIS - Historic buildings at the Fort Davis National
Historic Site will continue to "look a lot like Christmas"
through Jan. 5 of 1998, according to a National Park Service

"The Fort will be closed on Christmas Day but will be open
all other days including New Year's from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,"
says Jerry R. Yarbrough of the Park Service.

Volunteers and staff embers at the National Historic Site,
where the Buffalo soldiers once were quartered, have used
19th century Victorian ornaments and decorations to return
the U.S. Army fort to Christmas a century ago.

From Yarbrough: "Even the restored and refurnished officer's
kitchen and servant's quarters have reminiscences of what
you might have found in a 19th century kitchen during the
holiday season.

"In the parlor of the commanding officer's quarters, a large
native pine tree is dressed with colorful cardboard images,
candies in antique brass holders, paper and lace fans and
reproduction glass and crocheted ornaments . . .

"In the dining room, the table is set as if Christmas dinner
is about to be served and in the back parlor a
'goosefeather' tree has the place of honor on the center

Feather trees, first created in the Victorian Age, were the
world's first known artificial Christmas trees.

Stafford takes lighting title

Ted Stafford has won the annual Wickett Volunteer
Firefighters Christmas Lighting contest, according to a
statement released by the City of Wickett.

The announcement was made in conjunction with a report that
notes the City of Wickett plans to present an accomplishment
plaque to Gensler Elementary School for its scholastic
achievement on state standardized tests.

Both reports came from City Secretary La Nita Balko.
Balko notes the Christmas lighting winners were:

1. Stafford, 102 East First Street
2. Bonnie Pinson, 203 Alpine Avenue.

3. Ruben Arsiaga, 507 Alpine.

Balko also says she wishes everyone a Merry Christmas on
behalf of the City of Wickett.

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

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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise