Archives 87
Archives 95
Archives 96
Archives 97
Archives 98

1987 Tornado Photos
News Photos 1997
News Photos 1998

Area Newspapers


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


January 9, 1998

Commissioners approve funds for fire safety

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - In a special session yesterday
Reeves County Commissioners approved spending $325,000 to
add smoke and fire walls to a main hall in the Reeves County
Detention Center.

Banes General Contractors, Inc., the contractor currently
building a $2 million day-room addition at the RCDC, was
awarded the project. Banes' original bid of $367,400 for the
project last October was turned down by the commissioners
and resubmitted at its current level. While Banes was not
the lowest bid for the project, company representatives said
it could be completed within 10 days compared to 30 days
required by other bidders.

Commissioners felt that since Banes would already be on
sight with the day-room project it would be easy for the
company to complete the smoke/fire wall project in the 10

"They lowered their price by $40,000," said Commissioner
Bernardo Martinez. "They could do that because they are
already there. The other companies would have to come in and
we felt like there would be a lot of wasted time."

The $325,000 for the project is counted as a change order
added to the original $2 million-plus day-room addition.
County Auditor Lynn Owens said the smoke/firewall change
order amounts to 15 percent of the total project. Change
orders can amount to 25 percent on the project, Owens said,
leaving 10 percent of the original cost available for
further change orders.

"The firewall project can be done with most of the inmates
still in the facility," said Judge Jimmy Galindo. Keeping
most of the inmates in the facility avoids loss of revenue
for the RCDC, he explained.

The smoke/fire wall project is needed to meet National Life
Safety Codes for correctional institutions, Galindo

Banes, an El Paso contractor, was selected for the day-room
addition project because of its strong past record of
completed construction projects. The average cost of
construction projects completed by Banes in the last five
years comes to almost $1.8 million. In the same time period
Banes has completed 12 projects costing $2 million or more.
The largest project completed by Banes in the past five
years totaled more than $14 million. Banes has completed 53
construction projects in the last five years at a total cost
of almost $94 million.

Banes also committed to completing the day-room addition two
months earlier than the shortest time estimate of other
companies that bid on the project. The shorter construction
time by Banes will save the county as much as $963,600 in
potential lost revenues if the project had been awarded to
Cooper Construction of Odessa that needed 294 days to
complete the project compared to 210 days bid by Banes. (See

Rain has caused Banes to fall 10 days behind schedule on the
day-room addition project, Galindo said.

"The contractor said they can make up the 10 days in the
next four weeks by working later and working weekends,"
Galindo said.

The RCDC day-room addition project is expected to be
completed by the end of May this year, according to Galindo.
The completion of the project will make room for 300
additional inmates at the facility. New staff members to
handle the additional inmate load are expected by April and
the additional inmates are expected by June or July, Galindo

State searches for Head Start agency

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - State officials have appointed
Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin as the interim
overseer of the much-troubled Head Start programs in Reeves
and Ward counties. The Community Council of Reeves County
gave up control of area Head Start programs at the beginning
of this year.

Meanwhile, the regional office of the Department of Health
and Human Services in Dallas, Tex. is seeking applicants to
permanently take over the Head Start programs in Reeves and
Ward counties. As of yet no applications to head up Reeves
and Ward counties' programs have been received by the Dallas

Area Head Start programs were plagued with problems that the
community council could not overcome. Caprice Cox was hired
as executive director for the council in March of last year.
When she was questioned recently about the removal of Head
Start from the duties of the council she seemed relieved,
despite that the loss of the program cut the council's
operating budget by about two-thirds.

"We still provide Meals on Wheels, weatherization, family
services and day care," she said. "We're also looking into
starting up other programs."

One program being considered by the council is the creation
of a domestic violence center. Cox is in the process of
evaluating buildings to house the program and is creating a
needs assessment to determine the need for such a program in
the area.

Greater Opportunities is a privately run, not-for-profit
organization that oversees the Head Start programs of Ector
and Howard counties. Director of Greater Opportunities,
Betty Carter, said she came to Pecos Dec. 29 to prepare for
the transition of oversight of the local programs and to
"let the staff know what was happening and relieve some

Carter said Greater Opportunities wanted to make sure that
Pecos, Saragosa and Monahans continue to have Head Start
programs. She said that while there have been no
applications from organizations seeking to supervise the
local Head Start programs there will be because the process
is a competitive one.

"There will probably be several who apply and these will be
reviewed by a panel," she said, "Then after a bidders
conference the regional office will pick one."

Carter anticipated that Greater Opportunities would be the
interim administrator until August, 1998. At that point, she
said, there should be an agency ready to step in and take

Next week Carter and several Pecos Head Start employees will
travel to Dallas for a mid-winter administrative conference.

Head Start is a national program providing comprehensive
developmental services (such as health, nutritional,
education, and other services) primarily to low-income,
pre-school children between three years of age and the age
of compulsory school attendance, and their families.

About 130 children benefit from Head Start programs in
Reeves and Ward counties.

Brother stabs brother

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - A 16-year-old male juvenile was
stabbed yesterday afternoon during an argument with his
younger brother.

At 4:14 p.m. Jan. 8, Pecos police were called to a residence
in the 700 block of Cherry St. by a female who reported that
one brother had stabbed another brother. The two brothers
had been having an argument, according to a police
department report.

The 16-year-old was taken to Reeves County Hospital, where
he was treated for stab wounds to his right abdomen and left
buttocks. He was still in the hospital when police
investigators left, but had been released as of this
morning, according to Nadine Smith, assistant hospital

The 14-year-old who allegedly stabbed his older brother was
taken to the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center and
charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

No leads in woman's disappearance

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - No new leads have surfaced to help
investigators locate a woman whose parents claim has been
missing since Nov. 30.

Jack and Marilyn Bridges came to Pecos during the recent
holidays to look for their daughter, Lora Brooks Gabbert.
When the couple ran out of money and leads to their
daughter's location they had to return to their home in
Washington state.

"The only thing we can do now is wait and see," said Mr.

"I'm just on edge, waiting to see if they find anything.
It's not good. It's been 35 days so far, and our daughter
has never gone more than two weeks without calling us
before," he said.

Bridges said that Lora's boyfriend, Chris Bigham, had told
him and his wife that Lora left Pecos Dec. 2 on a bus for
Dallas to visit a friend. Lora never arrived. Elva Flores at
the Pecos Greyhound terminal said that they didn't sell Lora
a bus ticket that day, or the day before.

"We've searched on horseback, on foot and by air, and
haven't found evidence of anything," said Reeves County
Sheriff Andy Gomez about the investigation into Lora
Gabbert's disappearance.

According to Mr. Bridges, the Pacific County Sheriff's
Department in Washington state is planning to interview both
Bigham and Lora's oldest daughter. Attempts to contact the
county's undersheriff for a comment have been unsuccessful.

SWCD offers windbreak trees

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - The Upper Pecos Soil and Water
Conservation District will again provide windbreak trees for
sale. This year, the SWCD will offer three sizes of
trees.There will be one-foot trees in one-gallon containers,
two-foot trees in one-gallon containers and large trees four
to five feet tall. This year the prices will be $2.75 for
the one-foot trees, $3.25 for the two-foot trees, and $25.00
for the large trees. We will have Afghanistan Pine and
Arizona Cypress this year. For more information, contact the
NRCS at 1415 W. Third Street in Pecos or call 915-445-3196.

Grand jury hears civil rights case on shooting

Staff Writer

Grand jurors returned 18 federal indictments Thursday, some
implicating Pecos residents in drug violations, and heard
testimony from two young U.S. Marines in the border shooting
that left a Redford teenager dead last May.

The grand jury has been considering for the past three
months whether the civil rights of Esequiel Hernandez Jr.,
18, were violated when he was shot by U.S. Marines as he
tended his family's goat herd.

FBI supervisory agent Terry Kincaid of Midland was in Pecos
for the Hernandez grand jury session. "We were attempting to
conduct some interviews in association with the case," he
said. "They were somewhat critical, and I felt it was
appropriate for me to participate in those interviews."

Kincaid said the FBI's investigation is complete, and all
the results have been provided to the U.S. Department of
Justice civil rights division.

The grand jury made no ruling on the Hernandez case

"I'm not sure if they (the grand jury) finished. I think,
for the time being, yes," he said. "I don't think there are
any remaining witnesses to appear for the time being. I
don't know what the DOJ status of the case is."

Prosecutors on that case are from Washington, D.C.

Before hearing the Hernandez case, the grand jury foreman
handed up indictments presented by Alpine prosecutors Jim
Blankinship and Fred Brigman.

Local defendants are:

* Angel Anchondo-Nunez Jr., 21, of 7000 Titan; possession
with intent to distribute marijuana (126.48 pounds) on Jan.

* Juan Reynaldo Parada-Jasso, 18, of 1401 W. Fifth St.,
Pedro Garcia-Quintana, 45, El Guante, Mex.; and Ismael
Muniz-Melendez, 24, of Midland; possession with intent to
distribute marijuana on Dec. 12, 1977 (1,019.68 pounds).

* Eduardo Quezada Ocon, aka Eduardo Quezada Saenz, 29, 911
E. Fourth St., and Arturo Quezada Saenz, 26, 911 E. Fourth
St., possession with intent to distribute marijuana (593.04
pounds) on Dec. 19, 1997.

* Alberto Samaguez, 19, 825 W. Elm St., possession with
intent to distribute marijuana (44.16 pounds) on Dec. 19,

Charged with importing and possessing with intent to
distribute marijuana are:

* Aida Salazar Dominguez, 30, Hobbs, N.M., 153.8 pounds on
Dec. 19, 1997.

* Marcelina Gonzalez-de-Orona, 34, of Midland, 43.2 pounds
on Dec. 11, 1997.

* Humberto Hinojosa-Rodriguez and Sergio Perez-Estrada, Dec.
24, 1997.

* Raul Bueno-Ortega, Dec. 20, 1997.

* Robert Rodriguez-Jaquez, Dec. 20, 1997.

Charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana

* Jose Freddy Arriaga-Cabrera, 24, of Odessa, 360.37 pounds
on Dec. 17, 1997.

* Guadalupe Coronado Belmares, 18, of Victoria, 202.34
pounds on Dec. 14.

* Jason Scott Blanton, 26, of Terlingua, 214.70 pounds on
Dec. 12, 1997.

* Juan Jose Granado, 49, of Emporia, Kan., 248.54 pounds on
Dec. 17, 1997.

* Obed Verastegui and Sofia Vertastegui, conspiracy to
possess and possession of marijuana Nov. 12, 1997.

Jerralee Dekel Pirtle, 42, of El Paso, is charged with
tampering with a consumer product, meperidine hydrochloride,
aka Demerol hydrochloride, and Demerol hydrochloride for
injection, for use with compatible infusion pumps only.
Serious bodily injury resulted, the indictment alleges, and
the punishment is up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000
fine on each of the two counts.

Carlos Bermudez is charged with failure to appear for court
on Dec. 29, 1997.

German Booker, 28, of Greenville, and Kavin Earl Jones, 28,
of Dallas, are charged with possession with intent to
distribute phencyclidine (PCP) on Dec. 14, 1997.


PECOS, January 9, 1998 - Yesterday's report on the City
Council meeting incorrectly stated that Councilman Johny
Terrazas voted against hiring Clay McKinney as police chief.
Terrazas voted for hiring McKinney, Gerald Tellez and Ricky
Herrera voted against hiring McKinney.

McKinney will be sworn in today in the classroom of the
Pecos Police Department at 3:15 p.m. and said that he
understood he is to assume the duties of chief of police
immediately. Troy Moore will remain at the Police
Department, said McKinney, until January 31st on a
consultant-type basis.

Moore said that he would be turning over his equipment to
McKinney on Monday, January 12, remaining on until the the
end of the month to assist in the transition. "There are a
lot of little things I can help with," said Moore. "I'm
expecting a smooth transition."


PECOS, January 9, 1998 - Other races of local interest left
out of Tuesday's article on the upcoming March primary
election include those of State Senator Robert Duncan and
State Representative Bob Turner.

Incumbent State Senator Robert Duncan (R), of the 28th
District, was elected in December, 1996 in a special
election to replace John Montford who was elected Chancellor
of Texas Tech. Prior to being elected to Senate, Duncan had
served as a State Representative. He is unopposed in both

Incumbent State Representative Bob Turner (D) of District 73
is being challenged by Randy Leifeste (R) a rancher from
Horseshoe Bay.

Man killed in accident identified

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - A man killed in a one-vehicle
rollover Wednesday morning north of Pecos has been
identified as 83-year-old Almouth Jordan of Carlsbad, N.M.

Jordan was travelling southbound on U.S. Highway 285 about
three and a half miles north of Pecos when he drifted off
the west side of the road, hit his brakes, over corrected,
came across both lanes of traffic, and ended up in the east
side bar ditch, where the pickup he was driving overturned
one and one quarter times and came to rest facing southwest,
according to the DPS report.

Jordan died shortly after the jaws of life were used to
remove him from his vehicle and was pronounced dead at the
scene by Justice of the Peace Amanario Ramon at 9:37 a.m.
Jan. 7. His next of kin have been notified.

Commissioners to meet Monday

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - Reeves County Commissioners will
meet in regular session Monday morning.
PECOS, January 9, 1998 - A regular meeting of the Reeves
County Commissioners' Court will be held on Monday, Jan. 12,
at 10:30 a.m. in the third-floor courtroom of Reeves County

On the agenda to be discussed is an interlocal agreement
between the Town of Pecos City and Reeves County over the
Pecos Volunteer Fire Department; an application from Banes
General Contractors on the RCDC dayroom addition; a contract
between Winkler and Reeves Counties for the detention of
juvenile offenders; and selection of the 1998 Salary
Grievance Committee members.

Also to be discussed is the possible approval of La Tienda
Thriftway as a branch polling location for early voting;
bond and oath for Reeves County sheriff's deputy; award bids
on TCDP housing rehabilitation contract #714-160; hear
various departmental reports; budget amendments and
line-item transfers; personnel and salary changes at the
Juvenile Detention Center; and Saragosa's water well.

In a spread on minutes, notice of over-axle over-gross
weight tolerance permit will be given, and Commissioner #3
Herman Tarin will be awarded a certificate of continuing

PBT board approves personnel changes

PECOS, January 9, 1998 - Hiring and resignations of
professional personnel were unanimously approved at Tuesday
night's special school board meeting in which Don Love was
officially hired as the new Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
superintendent and Gome Olibas became the new administrative
assistant to the superintendent and personnel director. Love
had been principal of Zavala Middle School and Olibas had
been principal of Lamar Middle school as well as Barstow

New hires for the district are:

Audio Licon Cobos, who will teach seventh grade English at
Zavala on an emergency permit,

Juan Dominguez, who will coach and teach Spanish at Pecos
High School on an emergency permit,

Joann (Smith) Porter, who will teach third grade at Pecos

Heather Scheier, who will teach third grade at Pecos
Elementary, and

Rebecca (Woods) Wein, who will teach sixth grade at Lamar.

There were two resignations approved also. They are from
Brenda Evins, who taught English at Zavala, and Nancy
Twining, who was a counselor at both Zavala and Crockett
Middle School.


January 9, 1998

The Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT STOCKTON, Jan. 8, 1998 - A longtime Fort Stockton oil
and gas landman has announced his candidacy for the office
of County Judge of Pecos County. Delmon Hodges filed for the
post. Former Fort Stockton mayor Joe Shuster has announced
that he too, will seek the position of Pecos County Judge.
Municipal Court Judge Lali Minjarez has officially filed
with the Democratic Party for the Pecos County Precinct 1
Justice of the Peace office. That office is currently
occupied by Robert Gonzales.

The Big Bend Sentinel

MARFA, Jan. 8, 1998 - An Alpine man is seeking a statewide
office, while state Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, cruises to
a fifth term. Sul Ross State University Professor Dr. Jimmy
T. LaBaume wants to be Texas Agriculture Commissioner as a
Libertarian Party member. Also seeking that post are
Republicans Susan Combs of Austin, whose family owns a ranch
near Marathon; and Hamp Hodges, a Paris businessman.
Democrats running for ag commissioner are Ernesto De Leon of
Brownsville and Pete Patterson of Brookston.

The Alpine Avalanche

ALPINE, Jan. 8, 1998 - Don Green, 39, is the new
administrator of Big Bend Regional Medical Center. Green
came to Alpine from a hospital in Rusk to take over the
reins at the BBRMC and get the facility and its reputation
back in shape. "I don't want to wait until the new facility
is built before addressing any of the issues," he said.

The International, Presidio Paper

PRESIDIO, Jan. 8, 1997 - Two Presidio High School students,
one barely 17 and the other 15, were taken into custody
Thursday morning, Jan. 1, after U.S. Customs inspectors at
the Port of Entry found what was reported as over 16 pounds
of marijuana in their vehicle. Robert Guadalupe Bustamante,
who turned 17, on Dec. 10, and the 15-year-old, identified
as the driver of the automobile, were taken before Justice
of the Peace Daniel Bodine and charged with felony drug
possession. Bustamante was assessed a $15,000 bond and the
15-year-old, by law, was ordered released to his mother.

The Sanderson Times

SANDERSON, Jan. 8, 1997 - "Cordial, but productive" is how
Alpine City Manager Doug Lively described a recent meeting
with representatives from Union Pacific Railroad and the
Federal Railroad Administration. According to Lively, "there
has been a lot of focus recently on Union Pacific operations
in general, but the subjects of our meeting were safety
issues, excessive noise, and increased blockage of our
north-south thoroughfares caused by the crew-switching
operations in our downtown area."

The Monahans News

MONAHANS, Jan. 8, 1998 - Grandfalls (population 588) and
Monahans (population 8,101), the two largest communities in
Ward County, finally will be linked by local telephone
service on March 18. Guy Andrews of Southwestern Bell says
March 18 is the scheduled date when telephone subscribers in
the two towns, only about 15 miles apart, can start calling
each other without a long distance service charge.


Michael Wood

Michael Randolph Wood, 29, died Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1998 at
Abilene State School.

Graveside services will be at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 9, at
Toyah Cemetery with Rev. J.R. Wooten officiating.

Wood was born in Van Horn and attended Abilene State School,
moving to Abilene in 1980. He was a member of the Assembly
of God Church.

Wood was preceded in death by his grandfather, Clyde Wright
and an uncle, Jim Wright.

Survivors include: his father, Robert Charles Wood of
Dallas; his mother, Brenda Archer of Mineola; a grandmother,
Juanita Wright of Toyah; one brother, Marcus Beasley of
Mineola; and one aunt.

Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home of Abilene is in charge of


PECOS, January 9, 1998 - High Thursday, 64, low this
morning, 42. It will be warmer and drier across most of
Texas tonight and Saturday. West Texas will have partly to
mostly cloudy skies with a chance of drizzle or freezing
drizzle in the low rolling plains on Saturday. Lows tonight
will be in the 20s and 30s in West Texas. Highs Saturday
will be in the 30s and 40s in the Panhandle and in the 50s
and 60s elsewhere in West Texas.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise