April 9, 1998
No grant money for Pecos water supply
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - Adequate: Equal to some requirement;
sufficient (for any purpose).
Millions of dollars, and the possible survival of the Town
of Pecos City as it is now known, may hinge on how the Texas
Water Development Board chooses to define this ambiguous
Several representatives of the Texas Water Development Board
(TWDB) appeared before the Pecos City Council at last
night's special meeting to explain why the town did not
qualify for a large water grant from the organization's
Economically Distressed Area program, and to offer other
possible courses of action for pursuing a healthy water
According to Jonathan Steinburg, assistant general counsel
of TWDB, Pecos did not qualify for the $18 million grant
because it met the state's minimum water standards. The
grant money, he said, is only available to communities found
with "inadequate" water sources.
"But," City Surveyor Frank X. Spencer interjected, "we don't
meet secondary standards. We don't have an approved water
According to Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
guidelines, said one TWDB member, Pecos has an "acceptable"
water source. True, it is not an approved, or "superior,"
water source, but it is not in a state of non-compliance
either, said the representative.
The TWDB officials said that most of the grant money ($270
million which comes from the state and $200 million from the
federal government) went to communities with either no water
supply, or a water supply that was dangerous to the health
of the people. The representative stressed their work with
border-area colonias. An example of a small border town that
had been found sharing a single contaminated well was
offered as one type of program TWDB involved itself with.
Kevin Ward, TWDB's deputy executive administrator, told the
council that the best path to pursue, given that Pecos does
not qualify under TWDB guidelines, is the "Safe Drinking
Water Revolving Door Fund." While the drinking water fund is
technically considered a loan, said Ward, the TWDB has the
authority to forgive large portions of it, making it,
effectively, a grant in most respects.
According to Ward, Pecos had "managed (its) affairs quite
well," and should the council reconsider applying for a loan
from the organization, TWDB would be "glad to consider it."
Mayor Dot Stafford insisted that, for Pecos, repaying a
large loan at this time was simply not an option.
Frustrated, councilmember Danny Rodriguez told the water
representatives that had the council known that they would
not qualify for the grant seven years ago, when it began the
process with TWDB, "maybe we could have gone another route"
and "not be where we are today." Where the council is
"today," the council agreed, is staring at an estimated
12-year deadline for finding and developing a new source of
safe drinking water for the city. Twelve years is the
estimated life left in the Ward County water field that
Assistant TWDB Director Carl Norris suggested that, in the
meantime, Pecos consider practicing stricter water
conservation. "Your community appears to have high levels of
water consumption and should possibly look at reducing its
Councilmember Ricky Hererra asked how soon the council would
know what percentage of the loan would be forgiven should
they apply for the drinking water fund. At the time of
application, was the TWDB answer.
At the time when Pecos first approached TWDB, said one water
official, the board had "initial concerns" regarding Pecos'
qualifications. "We knew there was some potential," he said,
"and wanted to do what we could."
Hererra said, "It seems to me that we are operating on two
different definitions of what 'adequate supply' is." At this
point Rodriguez read back to the water representatives from
a newsletter supplied to the council concerning grant
qualifications. Rodriguez said that by the guidelines stated
in the newsletter Pecos qualified for the grant.
Steinberg said that the newsletter was only paraphrasing a
TWDB statute. "Perhaps it would be wiser to give the precise
definition," said Steinburg.
Rodriguez responded that it was misleading to communities
not to do so.
Spencer spoke briefly in defense of the water board by
saying, "Anytime a community goes into a grant process
there's never a guarantee." It was unfair of the council,
he said, to complain: "But we expected it."
Then he turned quickly on the TWDB representatives, taking
issue with their decided definition of 'adequate supply.'
Spencer stressed the dire situation to the officials,
saying, "When our recharge is virtually nil and we are
drawing on bad water, we can't be sure where the next field
we will find water. The closest is 11 miles away. The next
closest is 30 miles. And as to water treatment, we have
terrible water here. The situation is so drastic it could be
compared with those with no water. We have a 12,000
population that we won't be able to maintain."
Ward apologized for the "revelations of the last few weeks,"
and vowed to work with local officials in such a way that
there would be "no more surprises."
Stafford, bringing the discussion to a close, informed the
TWDB officials that she would be asking Senator Madla's Area
Representative Tina Hagley, who was present at the meeting,
to set up a meeting with the director of TWDB.
"I think you really don't understand the magnitude of the
problem," she said, before thanking the water
representatives for their help.
Former Reeves County commissioner dies
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - Tatum Moore Eisenwine, a well
respected cattleman and former Reeves County commissioner,
died Wednesday, April 8.
Eisenwine, 86, died at Reeves County Hospital. His funeral
will be Friday.
He was born Nov. 30, 1911, in Reeves County. Eisenwine
married Maureen Miers, July 16, 1947, in Lea County, N.M.
Tatum Eisenwine followed in the footsteps of his father,
Julius Eisenwine, who was the first county commissioner in
Reeves County. Tatum Eisenwine was a Reeves County
commissioner from 1949 to 1954 and from 1956 until 1972.
In 1981, the First Christian Church was celebrating its 90th
Anniversary and honored Eisenwine for his 57 years of
support and dediction to the church. He was a lifetime
member of the church.
The Eisenwine family was the first family honored as a
Pioneer Family by the West of the Pecos Museum, in 1977.
"We were the first family that was honored, when they
started doing that," said Beau Jack Hendrick. "Tatum was
very well-respected as a cattleman and citizen of Reeves
County,' he said.
Eisenwine was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during
World War II from 1942-1945.
"He was one of the best cattlemen in the Reeves County area
and well known for his cowboying abilities," said Hendrick.
Eisenwine was preceded in death by his wife, Maureen, in
1979; two daughters, Julie Dyer in 1989 and Melinda Crist in
1995; a brother J.W. Eisenwine in 1995; and sister, Hazel
Hendrick, in 1997.
Survivors include: his brother, Norman Eisenwine and wife,
Annie Evelyn of Ennis; and seven grandchildren.
"He was blessed with numerous great-grandchildren, nieces
and nephews and he was very close to us, me and my wife,
Tina," said Hendrick.
"He also received several awards from the state, while
serving as commissioner," said Hendrick.
Services for Eisenwine will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, at
the First Christian Church of Pecos with Rev. J.E. "Mac"
McCormick officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery
under the direction of Pecos Funeral Home.
The family requests memorials be made to the First Christian
Church of Pecos or the West of the Pecos Museum. The family
will receive visitors at the home of Beau Jack and Tina
Hendrick, 1519 Katherine, in Pecos.
Today last day for early voting
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - While some offices will be closed
Friday in observance of Good Friday during the Easter
holiday, others have opted to remain open.
Early voting in the run-off election ends today at 5 p.m.
Reeves County offices will be closed Friday, but state
offices will remain open.
The U.S. Post Office will be open during its normal working
hours on Friday and mail will be delivered at both the homes
and the postal boxes.
Both First National and Security State banks will be open on
Friday, but Security State Bank will not re-open from 5-6
p.m., like they normally do.
Town of Pecos City offices will be open only until noon,
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students will take the day off
Friday and school was let out early today, to begin the
The Pecos Enterprise will be open and the paper delivered at
the usual time.
Poor roads, sewers addressed by council
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - Pecos City Council met briefly this
morning to move forward on the city's annual seal coating of
local streets and approve preliminary plans for the
rehabilitation of the city sewer system.
Local engineer Frank X. Spencer presented the council with
information on both situations.
Based on interior line inspection with a newly-purchased
television camera, Spencer said that 3,600 linear feet were
originally selected for replacement and repair, but new
lines have since been found that also need repair.
"My recommendation," said Spencer, "is that if the money is
there to get it all done -if it all comes under the original
bid -we do it all." If the original budget of $250,000
cannot achieve all the repairs, he said, the new repairs
should be left out.
"The field work has all been done, but we could leave it out
if we want to," he said.
One other change had to be made to the original proposal.
Since checking the grade of the original 12-inch line,
Spencer said, the minimum size pipe needed to comply with
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission standards is
a 15-inch line.
"The current 12-and 10-inch lines do not comply with TNRCC
standards . . . I have proposed fiberglass manholes and PVC
pipes," he said.
According to Spencer's estimates, the new projected total
for the project comes to $271,000.
Mayor Dot Stafford suggested holding off on the project
until after the Fourth of July festivities since the project
would interfere with traffic in some areas.
Spencer said the project would take about two to three weeks
to complete, depending on the contractor hired.
The council also voted this morning to move forward with
advertising for bids for the city's annual seal coating
Spencer estimated the cost for the coating of 65,650 square
yards of pavement, at 80 cents per yard, at about $52,000.
Councilmember Johnny Terrazas asked by what process the
streets are chosen for repair and could other streets, in
bad states of repair, be added to the list.
Water Superintendent Octavio Garcia said that the streets
were rotated from year to year and any streets in need of
repair should be made known to the city.
Councilmember Danny Rodriguez suggested Veterans Boulevard
as a street in need of repair.
Rodriguez also praised the work of new Police Chief Clay
McKinney, saying that the officers' patrolling of the high
school had made "all the difference in the world for us" in
helping curb delinquency.
The council approved the monthly juvenile court report,
which showed seven new referrals to the department, and the
monthly ambulance report, showing a balance at the end of
last month of $323,455.
Three charged with possession of heroin
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - Possession of heroin was charged
against three of seven defendants indicted Wednesday by the
Reeves County Grand Jury.
Santiago "Jimmy" Natividad Fuentes, 19, is charged with
possession of heroin and cocaine on Jan. 5. His punishment
will be enchanced by two prior felony convictions.
Ruben Garcia Tercero, 38, is charged with possession of
heroin on Feb . 26. He also has two prior felony convictions.
Reyes Jose Rodriguez, 47, is charged with possession of
heroin on Jan. 23, and he has two prior convictions.
Eva Franco Lozano, 32, is charged with delivery of marijuana
on June 26, 1997.
Florentino Torres Flores, 44, is charged with forgery on
Jan. 7. He allegedly passed a forged check for $67.25 at
Charged with burglary of a building owned by Ronald Box on
Feb. 13 are Micah Brandon Lipscomb, 19, and Ryan William
Two boys in detention reluctant to give up gang
By CARA ALLIGOOD
Editor's Note: This is the final article in a series about
teenagers in custody at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention
Center who recently agreed to speak to a reporter about
their experiences. Their names have been changed to protect
their identities. Their detention at this facility does not
mean they are from the local area. This is the story of two
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - "Derrik" is cool and confident,
presenting himself as very worldly for his mere 14 years. He
has an almost businesslike demeanor when he says that he is
in detention for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Derrik said that he got sick of fighting with another boy,
so he stabbed him.
Derrik makes no bones about being a gang member; he had been
in a gang for two years and seems proud of that. He said
that gang membership makes him feel like he is part of a
Derrik has a real family though, one that he said that he
isn't close to. He said that both of his parents are still
together. He said that neither of his parents use drugs,
that his mom doesn't even drink; his dad does drink, but is
gone on a job that takes him out of the area frequently.
Derrik also said that he has three siblings that he does not
feel close to. He prefers hanging out with his gang. He said
that he does not have a violent home life, and that he has
always done poorly in school and stayed out late.
Derrik said that he and other gang members have a good time
drinking and smoking marijuana together. They also fight
with other gangs over what he referred to as "brown right"
and described as a territorial dispute.
Derrik said that the gang members use weapons in their
fights, "sticks, knives, brass knuckles, bats and bottles,"
but no guns. He claims that he's never been seriously hurt
in one of those fights.
He said his gang has both male and female members, "but they
(the girls) do their own thing and we do our own thing" as
far as issues such as the fighting are concerned, so there
aren't boys beating girls in the confrontations.
His initiation into the gang was fighting about eight other
gang members at once. Derrik said that he did get hurt badly
that time, but thinks the beating was worth it.
Derrik said that everyone in his gang is pretty much equal,
and that there isn't anything about being in a gang that he
doesn't like. He admits that the group sells drugs, but
denies that the gang members commit burglaries.
He doesn't believe that his gang membership affects his
relationships with girls.
Derrick said that he has no intention of trying to get out
of the gang. He plans to finish school and wants to have a
job in an office, but he said that he will still be in a
gang. He plans on going to college, but has no idea what he
wants to study.
Derrik knows he doesn't want to end up in prison. He would
like to be closer to his family, but that isn't something he
is willing to work at. However, he does picture himself as
getting married and becoming a father. He said that he would
allow his own son to join a gang. His dad let him join a
gang, he said, although his father was never in a gang.
"Right now we're still youngsters," Derrik said. "I'll see
if the gang is still going on when I'm older." He said that
he will still claim to be a gang member even if the group
dissipates as the members get older.
"To another person facing the same decisions he had to make,
Derrik would say, "It isn't a problem if you want to be like
me, if that's what you want to do."
"Clyde" is a polite, 15-year-old boy who talks about
enjoying life in a gang, but without commitment to gang
membership as a permanent lifestyle choice. He was
originally put on probation for committing a burglary, then
put into the juvenile center for breaking curfew, a
Clyde said that he has been involved in a gang in the past,
and still considers himself to be a gang member.
He said that the gang isn't his family, but the other
members feel like his brothers and sisters. Clyde said that
the gang members do things together like going to arcades to
play games and "most of the time, doing bad things like
Clyde said that he was doing drugs before he was on
probation, "just marijuana, that's the only drug I've ever
done." He said that everyone in the gang got high together.
"That's one reason I got on probation, I was under the
influence when I broke into the house," Clyde said. Clyde
said that he and a few other boys broke into a house "just
for the fun of it."
Clyde said he first got involved with his gang about a year
ago. He got to know other gang members over about a month's
time, he said, then the others invited him to join their
gang, and he accepted and was initiated. "I had to fight,
like, seven other guys at one time," Clyde said. He wasn't
seriously hurt, but doesn't think the whole thing was worth
He lives with his mom, sister and an aunt. His mother and
aunt do drink, he said, but not around him. He doesn't
believe they use any drugs, and said that his mother has not
resorted to use of physical punishment.
The drinking, drugs, and feeling of togetherness with other
teens is what Clyde said lured him to the gang. He enjoys
the gang lifestyle, he said, and has no immediate plans to
get out of the gang.
Although Clyde enjoys gang life now, he does see himself
getting out of the group someday. The gang won't just let
him go, though. Clyde said that in order to get out of the
gang, he will have to go through another initiation, same as
the first one, but to exit the group.
Members of Clyde's gang sometimes carry knives or bats he
said, but nobody has a gun that he knows of. They do fight
with members of other gangs over things like what one person
says about another, but not over territory. Clyde said that
he has been involved in gang fights with rival gangs "lots
Clyde said that he is nearing the end of his probation, and
thinks he will be able to break away from the gang once his
probation is over. He does have friends outside of the gang,
even girlfriends. Clyde said that his gang membership does
not affect his relationships outside of the group.
He eventually wants to get an education and would like to
become a mechanic after high school. These days though,
Clyde hardly ever goes to school, and said that the worst
thing about going to school is having to get up early in the
morning. He said that he wouldn't mind getting up early as
much if it were to go to work as a mechanic instead of to go
If he were talking to another boy who seemed to be following
in his footsteps, Clyde would say, "Stop it, It will ruin
your life like it's ruining mine."
Closing arguments begin for Republic of Texas
By TERRY WALLACE
Associated Press Writer
DALLAS (AP) April 9, 1998 - The jury heard two starkly
different rationales for the activities of separatist
Richard McLaren, his wife, and their band of six followers
in closing arguments today at their federal conspiracy and
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Hamilton told jurors that "the
laws of the state of Texas and the United States allow
people to think pretty much what you want and say pretty
much what you want, and that's all right. ... You can think
you're an ambassador and that's not the problem," he said.
"Whatever you think, you cannot victimize innocent people
because that's a crime. You cannot write checks on an
account you do not have, because that's a crime," he said.
Tom Mills, attorney for Richard McLaren, told jurors that
they "won't be asked to decide that Texas is not a state or
that the United States is not a nation."
Rather, they must decide whether the alleged conspirators
"were acting with the intent to defraud or for some other
Republic of Texas leader McLaren and his followers are
accused of trying to bilk banks and creditors of $1.8
billion. Members allegedly ran up their credit card bills on
such expenses as a Lear jet lease for McLaren and a $300
Neiman Marcus sweater for Mrs. McLaren. Then they tried
paying the tabs with the so-called "warrants," prosecutors
said during the six-week trial.
Charges against the nine separatists include various counts
of conspiracy, bank fraud, mail fraud and aiding and
abetting. U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish allotted each
defense attorney 30 minutes for closing arguments;
prosecutors had one hour.
The separatists don't deny they passed millions of dollars
in Republic of Texas "warrants" - documents that resemble
checks or other bank documents - to pay their bills. But
they claim the self-issued currency was valid because it was
backed by $80 billion in state assets.
The question of intent was at the heart of the defense's
Mills spoke of how a priest and a rabbi could spend their
lives studying the same Bible and reach opposite conclusion
about whether a Messiah had come. "One of them is incorrect,
but I don't think either one of them is a fraud," he said.
Arguing in her own defense, McLaren's wife, Evelyn McLaren,
told of all that she gave up in her life for her husband and
his cause: family, job, freedom and security.
She said her husband's aims were just in asking for Gov.
George W. Bush to submit the question of Texas' statehood or
nationhood to a vote.
Only when the state refused did her husband act to reclaim
assets he believed to belong to a legal nation, she said.
"Our forefathers said that if we didn't defend our
Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, we would lose
it. At this point, ladies and gentlemen, it's slipping
away," she said.
"I asked you to return a verdict of not guilty, not only for
me but for the others. They are heroes because they stand.
Our intentions were pure. We did not intend to hurt
Another proposal for endangered species list
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - Just when the 11 West Texas cities
that comprise the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority
thought they'd have flowing taps for decades, along swam the
Arkansas River shiner.
The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club is convinced the
little minnow is imperiled and is demanding the fish be
declared an endangered species in a New Mexico federal
lawsuit filed last month.
"The loss of the shiner, which depends on that kind of
habitat, is an indicator that concerns us,'' said Sierra
Club spokesman Scott Royder.
"We're basically concerned about the continued decline of an
(Ogallala) aquifer that supports animals and humans. We
cannot continue to draw water from an aquifer that cannot
recharge. I would hope most people would not want the
aquifer to go extinct.''
The situation is similar to one Red Bluff Water Power
Control District members are trying to avoid along the Pecos
River, where preliminary studies have been made into
declaring the Pecos River pupfish an endangered species.
Royder said the Sierra Club, which also sued to force
pumping restrictions on the Edwards Aquifer in Central
Texas, is targeting the Interior Department to force action
on the shiner. Yet CRMWA officials said during a Wednesday
meeting they feel the crosshairs, too.
"We don't really have a part in the suit as it's filed
now,'' general manager John Williams said. "But if it takes
the same course as others we've seen, we need to protect our
ability to participate.''
Directors support intervention even though the CRMWA isn't
mentioned. Legal costs could range between $25,000 to more
than $200,000 if the authority gets involved, but Borger
board member Tom Edmonds said the cost could be devastating
if it doesn't.
"It puts you in a position that you almost have to show up
and say, `We think we have an interest that needs to be
protected, because we're really not sure why you're having
this lawsuit,''' said Edmonds, a lawyer and engineer. "...
We're going to protect our rights.''
A committee of CRMWA board members will decide whether or
not to apply for intervention.
CRMWA cities, which include Amarillo and Lubbock, fear that
if the shiner is listed as endangered, the government might
limit proposed pumping from underground resources in Roberts
County, which the authority fought for years to use in the
The Roberts County water is needed to blend with the salty
Lake Meredith water the member cities currently receive.
Williams said he expects up to 30 percent of the water
flowing down the pipelines someday to come from underground.
In the Pecos area, the threat is the same. Red Bluff board
members were told last month the Pecos River pupfish can
only be found in Screwbean Draw, a tributary of the river
south of Red Bluff Lake, and has been replaced in the river
by the Sheepshead minnow.
But the board was also told the fish probably was native to
the river only when excess water usage by New Mexico
increased salt levels in the river high enough for the
pupfish to survive.
Federal officials are considering adding the pupfish to the
endangered species list as the result of a lawsuit filed
against the government, marine biologist Bart Reid told the
board in March. That would allow the government to determine
water and land usage within the fish's habitat area.
The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority has performed a
series of environmental impact reports that have determined
heavy pumping from Roberts County won't drastically affect
the region, but the Bureau of Reclamation hasn't approved
the studies yet.
For the authority to begin using the Roberts County water,
April 9, 1998
Matthew Gibson, 24, died Friday, April 3, in Arlington
Memorial Hospital, in Arlington.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 11, in
Gibson was born in Austin. He had lived in San Antonio since
1988, was employed with County Line Restaurants and was a
Survivors include: his father, Randy Gibson, and his wife,
Barbara Gibson; his mother, Beth Davis, and her husband,
David Davis; two sisters, Monday Ledbetter of San Antonio
and Erin Davis of Austin; several aunts, uncles and cousins.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials may be
made to the Matt Gibson Scholarship Fund, Madison High
School, 5005 Stal Road, San Antonio, Tx. 78247.
Billy Seltz, 66, died Saturday, April 4, at Reeves County
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m., Friday, April 10, at
First Presbyterian Church in Barstow with Rev. Rod Peacock
officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.
Seltz was born April 11, 1931, in Loraine, Tx. He was a
retired truck driver and a lifelong Barstow resident.
Survivors include: his wife, Elizabeth Seltz of Barstow; two
sons, Kenneth Felts of Barstow and U.S. Air Force Col.
Ernest Felts of India; five daughters, Ruth Lauderdale of
Olney, Tx., Naomi Schulenberg of Andrews, Wanda Felther of
Houston, Mary Lauderdale of Midland and Doylene Barrett of
Irvin; one brother, Tommy Seltz of Monahans; 17
grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be
made to the Barstow Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 307,
Barstow, Tx., 79719.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, April 9, 1998 - High Wednesday, 74, low this morning, 38. Skies were mostly clear today across Texas, although temperatures in the Panhandle were barely above freezing at daybreak. The National Weather Service said clear to partly cloudy skies are expected over Texas through Friday at least. Temperatures in West Texas at 5 a.m. ranged from 34 degrees at Dalhart, in the northwest corner of the Panhandle, to 47 degrees at Sanderson, 410 miles to the south. Winds were mostly west to northwest at 10 mph or less. Daytime highs through Friday should range from the middle 70s to the middle 90s.
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