February 27, 1998
High winds destroy carport
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - When Cathy Ortiz left her Lindsay
addition home yesterday around 1 p.m. to run a few errands
and pick up her three children from school, probably the
last thought on her mind was that her house may be blown
away by strong winds in her absence. But, returning to her
home in the 5200 block of Valley Road around 4:30 p.m., she
found her carport demolished -the roof of her house and
driveway strewn with loose shingles and splintered wood.
"Half of it was up on the roof," she said, motioning to the
debris now scattered in her drive. "The other half fell
here," she said pointing to the drive. "It was a mess."
Even the 15-odd foot iron pipe that had held a television
antennae high above the house had been snapped in two.
Ortiz said that when she returned from town and first saw
the wreckage she was scared that her home's roof may have
been damaged. "But this neighbor boy came and helped me get
the stuff off the roof," she said, "and there was only
slight damage to the roof."
"We had steady winds most of the day around 30-35 miles per
hour," said Isabelle Blanchard, co-manager of the Pecos
Municipal Airport. According to airport weather logs, the
strongest gust of the day, measured at 46 mph, was
experienced at 2:42 p.m.
But gusts of yesterday's 10-15 mph variety are not that
severe, said Blanchard. The tough stuff comes mostly in the
spring, when gusts may measure as high as 50 mph.
Youth stabbed by intruder at P.H.S.
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - Crime Stoppers is seeking further
information about an incident that occurred at Pecos High
School in January when student was cut by an apparent
intruder onto school grounds.
At 10 a.m. Jan. 23, a 14-year-old white male was exiting the
Pecos High School main building en route to another
classroom, when he was confronted by an unknown individual.
The individual, a 6-foot tall Hispanic male in his early
20s, pulled a knife, started slashing and cut the
14-year-old's hand, according to a Crime Stopper report.
"The only information we had on this other individual was
that he was Hispanic, was wearing a black beanie cap,
sweater, had a mustache and a goatee," said Pecos Police
Investigator Kelly Davis.
Davis stated that the individual is not a student at Pecos
High School and that the 14-year-old juvenile was not
The attacker ran away and got into an unidentified vehicle
and left the scene, according to Davis.
A report has been filed in the incident, but no further
information is known about the suspect.
"Apparently the 14-year-old stated that he did not know who
this guy was and that he didn't know why he was targeted,"
To pass along information to Crime Stoppers call 445-9898.
Strong turnout for early voting
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - More than 100 voters have been
casting their votes daily since early voting began for the
March Democratic Primary Elections.
"We've been averaging over 100 voters each day, which is
really great," said early voting clerk Debbie Thomas.
The lowest daily total of voters so far in this election was
107. Thomas stated that she hopes the high number of voters
As of Thursday afternoon, 778 individuals had voted by
personal appearance. There were 281 mail-in ballots,
bringing the total number of voters in Reeves County to
Early voting will continue until until March 6, for the
Democratic Primary Elections.
Individuals can call the county clerk's office to receive
ballots by mail. "They should also call us back to make sure
they received their ballot, filled it out and that we have
received it back," said County Clerk Diane O. Florez.
Saturday the clerk's office will have a booth at La Tienda
from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for anyone who would like to vote
early by personal appearance then.
"The different voting places give people a chance to vote
when they can and this way we get more people to vote," said
Feb. 26 declared "Dot Stafford Day"
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - Here ye! Hear ye! Citizens of
Pecos, from this day forward the date of Feb. 26 will be
officially known as "Dot Stafford Day."
The City Council of the Town of Pecos, all decorated in gold
stickers proclaiming Dot Stafford Day, voted unanimously
that the mayor should have a day named in her honor. While
taking a moment to recognize the mayor, Mayor Pro-tem Danny
Rodriguez said that Stafford had served the council well as
mayor for two terms, before that serving eight years as a
Obviously delighted by the motion, Stafford assured the
audience that she had no idea the council was considering
such an action. "You don't know how much this means to me,"
she said. "I've enjoyed every minute of it."
Later in day, beginning around 1 p.m., Stafford was honored
at her now-former workplace The First National Bank of
Pecos. Punch and cake was served over the strains of a
classical string trio. "I wasn't expecting this high-brow
music," she said. "I was expecting guitars."
Bank president Bruce Duston said, "We're happy for her, but
we're gonna miss her for sure." About 75 friends and
colleagues attended the farewell party.
Stafford said she is retiring, though she plans to continue
to work one day a week at the bank and increase her civic
activities. Stafford announced at yesterday morning's
council meeting her intention to seek another term as mayor.
Young citizens attend council meeting
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - Council members at yesterday
morning's Pecos City Council meeting must have thought that
all their hard work was finally earning them the attention
they deserved when an extra row of chairs had to be brought
in to accommodate the large crowd at the meeting. Only it
turned out that half of the guests were well below the
voting age. They are students of Zavala Middle and Pecos
High school who were boning up on civic involvement.
Zavala teacher Cindy Duke brought her seventh-grade class to
the meeting to encourage the council to dedicate March 2-6
as "Texas Independence Week." Phillip Salcido addressed the
council on the history of Texas Independence -highlighting
the historic battle of the Alamo -relating the need for
citizens to become aware of the sesquicentennial of
statehood. "On behalf of my classmates I thank you all for
having us here today," said Salcido.
The proposal approved by the council calls for citizens to
dress "Texan," hold bonfires and parades and engage in
"excessive noise-making" during the special week. Mayor Dot
Stafford commented that the Zavala students "had a lot of
After approving the students' proclamation, the council
heard from Geneva Martinez, city secretary and Pecos Youth
Advisory Commission coordinator. Martinez informed the city
leaders that the Jon Ben Sheppard Leadership Institute of
the University of Texas of the Permian-Basin desired to
conduct an all-day seminar in Pecos for area youth. Straight
Way, a drug and suicide prevention team that advocates total
abstinence from drugs, would also participate in the event,
The council granted permission for the youth commission to
pursue setting up the event, tentatively scheduled for Sat.,
March 28. Several organizations represented at the event
expressed interest in helping out.
Frank Spencer of Frank Spencer & Associates promised to
contribute. Pecos High School Principal and Councilman Danny
Rodriguez and Texas-New Mexico Power representative Mya
Surrat both offered the group space at their facilities for
the event. Martinez said she is looking for sponsors to help
provide lunch and snacks for the event, one of the
requirements imposed upon the host party.
For the rest of the meeting the council addressed issues
concerning sewer and water lines in the county.
Spencer, operating on the council's request, furnished a
cost estimate of $26,500 for the preparation of a permit
renewal for Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
and the incorporation of an additional wastewater pond.
The council approved the application, but only following a
discussion of financials.
City Manager Kenneth Neal said he recommended proceeding
with the plan although "there is no way to estimate what
changes the TNRCC will make from one week to the next."
Councilman Randy Graham said that, in light of last year's
high engineering fees, he wanted to get city employees
involved in the project as much as possible to help defray
costs. Spencer said that the city had offered to help out on
previous projects but had not come through. "I was not aware
we had dropped the ball," said Graham.
At this point City Attorney Scott W. Johnson interrupted,
saying that the council was getting off track. "Under the
Protective Services Act you need to pick the engineer first
and negotiate the contract second."
The city also approved Fire Chief Jack Brookshire as
enforcer for private sector sewer problems, drafting a
letter of assurance to the TNRCC that the municipality would
support sewer line repair and replacement, and agreed to
Spencer & Associates training city water employees in
interpreting data secured by a newly-purchased television
"We will help them interpret the data," said Spencer, "and
later sit down and discuss how to proceed with repairs."
In response to recent water line problems experienced by the
Reeves County Detention Center, when water pressure was
unusually low for a 24-hour period last week causing the
center to import 500 gallons of bottled water for the staff
and inmates, the council voted to advertise for contractual
bids to replace a large portion of the water line leading to
The line, which runs from Lincoln Street in Pecos to a
storage tank near the detention center off Highway 17,
equals approximately 7,800 linear feet of 6-inch pipe to be
switched out for 12-inch line.
Spencer said that when he was hired in 1984 to study and
analyze the problem of transporting water to the
then-proposed center he had suggested that a 350,000 gallon
above-ground storage tank be located at or near the site.
This was not done, he said, because of financial restraints.
With the number of inmates continuing to rise, Spencer
suggested installing 12-inch pipe to the tank, a 350,000
gallon above-ground storage tank and looping of the water
line. The parties involved in the discussion agreed that the
pipe and the tank were necessary to providing fire safety to
County Judge Jimmy Galindo offered that the county could
purchase the pipe if the city would install it. The prison
could install a tank on county property at a later date, he
said. Of the city's actions during the water dilemma at the
center -recently criticized at a county commissioners
meeting -Galindo said that "Mr. Garcia was very attentive to
the problems at RCDC and relieved minor fluctuations out
The council voted to advertise for bids to replace the
6-inch water pipe with 12-inch line.
Lent, a period of special worship
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - Ash Wednesday marked the
beginning of Lent and area churches are planning to observe
it with special services and events.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 416 S. Plum, will have a
special service at noon each Wednesday during Lent in the
parish hall. Interim preacher for the church, Father Charles
McIntyre, will present a series of talks called, the "Joy of
Discipline." Following the service, a brown bag luncheon
will be held. Everyone is welcome to bring their lunch and
enjoy a quiet moment of observation.
First United Methodist Church, 301 S. Elm, is starting a
Bible study group. During Lent, a Bible study will be held
at 6 p.m. each Sunday.
For Catholics, Ash Wednesday marks the entry into the spirit
of Lent. With a prayer ashes are placed in the form of a
cross on the forehead of observers. Worshipers should repent
and believe the gospel and remember that they are dust and
into dust they will return, according to Sister Josefa Dwyer
with Santa Rosa Catholic Church.
Dwyer explained that the period of Lent celebrated in many
Christian churches is an annual celebration of the most
important mysteries of the Christian faith, the suffering,
death and resurrection of Christ. Lent is celebrated in
imitation of His loving sacrifice to save us from the
slavery of sin and to make possible our eternal happiness in
Many Christians spend 40 days of preparation in imitation of
the 40 days Christ spend in the desert being tempted by
Satan. This is a period of self-denial in the form of
fasting, not eating meat and other sacrifices, according to
It includes increased reading of the scriptures and prayer,
charity works in the Catholic church, increased numbers who
assist at daily mass and at the way of the cross, said Dwyer.
Lent which means "spring" is celebrated during springtime
because Christ was crucified in the sping. It also
symbolizes a renewal of our spiritual life as Christ passes
from death to life and as nature seems to come alive again
after "the death of winter."
In the Catholic church, Lent is also a more intense time of
preparation for catechununs. Catechununs are adults
preparing for baptism and baptized persons who are preparing
to enter the Catholic faith, according to Dwyer.
The final three days before Easter are of special solimity,
especially Holy Thursday, with celebration of the Last
Supper of Christ by solemn mass in which Catholics believe
that bread and wine are consecrated to become the body and
blood of Christ.
Good Friday commemorates the solemn reverence the suffering
and death of Christ. On the evening of Holy Saturday, in a
beautiful celebration, the catechununs are baptised and
baptised believers are received into full communion with the
Easter Sunday celebrations are especially joyous in
commemorating Christ's resurrection.
For the times of special services during Lent call Santa
Rosa Catholic Church, at 445-2309, located at 620 E. 4th
Street; St. Catherine Catholic Church, Plum and Walthall at
447-9231 or Our Lady of Refuge in Barstow at 445-6889,
located on Brant Street.
Maria Elena Sarabia, 49, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 1998, at
Reeves County Hospital.
A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Friday, at Martinez
Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb.28, at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
Sarabia was born April 21, 1947, in Ojinaga, Mexico. She was
a longtime resident of Pecos and a Catholic.
She was preceded in death by her father, Francisco Maynez.
Survivors include: her husband, Catarino Sarabia; her mother
Hermila Mongarro; one son, Cesar Fuentes of Pecos; three
daughters, Mireya Munoz of Pecos, Elisabeth Perez of Sherman
and Priscilla Olvidrez of Andrews; three brothers, Manuel
Maynez of Pecos and Melchor and Mario Maynez of Odessa; one
sister, Martha Fuentes of Pecos; and six grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, February 27, 1998 - High Thursday, 61, low this
moring, 33. Light snow showers and flurries will continue
across northern sections of the Texas Panhandle through
Saturday. The rest of the state will have partly to mostly
cloudy skies and some light rain possible in sections of
North Texas and Southeast Texas. It will be partly to mostly
cloudy over the rest of West Texas. It will be cooler across
the entire area through Saturday. Most of the snow early
today was in the Borger area, but forecasters said snow
showers and flurries are expected over the Panhandle through
Saturday. The snowfall is not expected to be significant.
Lows tonight will be in the 20s in the Panhandle and in the
30s and 40s elsewhere in West Texas. Highs Saturday will be
in the 40s in the Panhandle and in the 50s and 60s elsewhere
in West Texas.
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