April 15, 1998
Local incumbents fall in runoffsBy ROSIE FLORES and GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 15, 1998 - With smiles for everyone, Gilbert
"Hivi" Rayos celebrated his victory last night surrounded by
friends and family.
Rayos won the Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4 run-off
election, defeating incumbent Bernardo "Chaquen" Martinez.
Martinez had the precinct 4 seat for 20 years and was
challenged in the March Primary Elections by both Rayos and
With no precinct 4 candidate receiving a majority of votes
in March a run-off election between Rayos and Martinez was
Rayos beat out Martinez in the run-off election by 66 votes,
winning with 392 votes to Martinez' 326 votes.
"This wasn't a spur of the moment decision to run," said
Rayos had thought about running for the position of
commissioner for about seven and half years and finally made
up his mind in December of 1996.
"I just thought it was time for a change," said Rayos.
About making any changes, Rayos stated, "I'm going to feel
my way and see what we can do, I want to communicate with
the other commissioners and do what is best for this county."
Right now, Rayos said, "I feel great, it's been a hard
fought race and I'm glad it's over."
"I wouldn't have done it without the people's help, they
just wanted a change also," said Rayos.
Rayos stated that he doesn't know if the north side swimming
pool will remain open and it will be up to the commissioners
court to vote on that. "I would like to see it open, because
the kids really want it," he said.
Rayos plans to attend the commissioners court meetings and
become more informed.
"It was a good, clean race and I had a lot of help," said
As for remaining in his current position as Reeves County
Deputy, Rayos stated that he doesn't know yet and it will be
up to the sheriff. "I do know I can be a reserve deputy," he
"I just want to thank all the people that helped me, those
who voted and especially my family for putting up with all
this," said Rayos.
In the Democratic run-off for Reeves County Justice of the
Peace Precinct 3, Rossendo Carrasco beat incumbent Joel
Madrid, 389 to 316.
Carrasco said this morning, "I have no words to describe
those people who went out and
supported me, and those who didn't . . . well, I'll make
them proud of me too."
The Ward County run-off election results are as follows.
In the race for county clerk, Natrell Cain won with 1158
votes to Judy C. Greer's 1072; Cathy
Fausett will be the new Ward County Commissioner Precinct 2
with 549 votes to Henry
Cutbirth's 400 votes; and Rick McCurdy will serve as the new
County Commissioner for Precinct
four, drawing 282 votes, compared with Don Creech's total of
In the run-off election for Democratic candidate for U.S.
House of Representatives in District 23,
Joseph P. Sullivan received the majority of Ward County
votes, with 1234, compared with 503
going to Charlie "Urbina" Jones.
West Texas rocks, rolls againBy GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 15, 1998 - History echoed itself near Alpine
at 5:34 this morning, as an earthquake measuring 3.6 on the
Richter Scale let surface-dwellers know that there is still
activity down below.
Another, stronger quake that measured 5.6 stirred residents
around Alpine and Marathon three years ago almost to the
day, on April 13, 1995, and was felt as far away as Dallas
But this year's near-Easter quake wasn't as destructive as
its predecessor. No structural damage has been reported.
According to information gathered by Kelly Dyal,
departmental secretary of the geology department at Sul Ross
University, the epicenter of today's earthquake was 26 miles
east of Alpine, in the Glass Mountains area.
Dyal said she did receive one call from a woman near
Marathon complaining about the movement. "I told her it may
be time to start thinking about moving." Residents of Alpine
also felt the results of the quake.
According to the Brewster County Sheriff's Department, the
quake was felt in neighboring Presidio County.
The National Weather Service said this morning's quake was
likely an aftershock of the 1995 earthquake.
Since Sierra Blanca was originally proposed as a low-level
radioactive waste disposal site seven years ago, the
presence of seismic activity has been one of the dump
opponents' main objections to the Hudspeth County location.
Ruben Alvarado, the chief engineer for the Texas Low Level
Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority's proposed
Sierra Blanca site, said he is satisfied that the
as-designed facility, though the first of its kind, would
weather all such quakes.
"The analysis and design was done using the same type of
engineering analysis as (they use) in California," said
Alvarado, "using the same type of computer programs."
That the proposed design has never been used before is
nothing unusual, he said, as there hasn't been a new
low-level nuclear waste containment site built in this
country in the last 30 years.
Ultimately, his faith rested with the concrete canisters
that would contain the radioactive waste from industrial and
medical facilities. "They are very thick," said Alvarado,
"We're pretty comfortable with that.
"We are not concerned with earthquakes of this magnitude,"
he continued, "particularly as far away as they are."
In a press release following the 1995 earthquake, Alvarado
said that "the proposed facility was analyzed assuming a
Magnitude 7 earthquake occurring six miles from the site,"
the location of the nearest known fault, "as well as a
magnitude 6 event occurring immediately beneath the site. In
both cases our evaluations showed that the facility will
perform satisfactorily with no failure of canisters or
High-profile dump opponent Bill Addington, and spokesperson
for the Sierra Blanca Legal Defense Fund, said that the
siting process by which the TLLRWDA has recommended the
"most seismically active area in Texas " was "not about
science, it's about political science. There's not that many
votes out here and they think we can't fight back."
The TLLRWDA can test their cement waste containers with
computers, he said, but "the true test is in the ground."
The '95 quake was strong enough to damage homes in both
Alpine and Marathon. At Sul Ross University, several
suspended ceilings were dislodged and one Marfa eye-witness
saw dust coming from the base of the Davis Mountains
following the quake, as if they were settling back into
The proposed location for the low-level radioactive waste
site is seven miles southeast of Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth
County, about 125 miles northwest of the epicenter of the
PBT ISD taxpayers will keep exemptionBy CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, April 15, 1998 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD taxpayers
will keep a 10 percent local option homestead exemption on
their property taxes, against the recommendation of the PBT
ISD superintendent at Monday's PBT ISD board meeting. Don
Love wanted the exemption dropped because of the financial
situation of the school district. The district's operating
costs are staying level while its income is going down.
"We're between a rock and a hard place and don't know which
way is up," said PBT ISD Trustee Earl Bates.
"We may have to go to the tax payers to stay alive. To do
away with the local exemption would be hitting the taxpayers
twice," said Trustee Steve Armstrong. He said that the
increased state exemption, voted into law last August, and
local property devaluation would counter the loss of the
local exemption for homeowners.
The district has had to dip into its reserve fund for about
$1 million each year for the past two years, decreasing the
fund to a little more than $1 million to start the current
school year. District administrators expect another
shortfall this year.
The exemption was passed for another year by a 5-2 vote,
with Armstrong and Trustee Freddy Lujan voting against
granting the exemption for another year.
Love and PBT Business Manager Cookie Canon were designated
as investment co-officers for the district.
Following the example the board set earlier this month
regarding the cheerleading constitution, the school board
voted to change the student council constitution so that any
student who meets University Interscholastic League
requirements can run for student council office.
Love also told all assembled how much the district has
appreciated Linda Gholson's many years of service on the
school board. Gholson decided not to seek another term on
"There are many people out there who could do as good or
better of a job on the school board, but nobody who can
enjoy it more than me," Gholson said.
Also during the meeting, the board observed a moment of
silence to honor teachers Lydia Bitolas and Linda Faulkner,
both of whom died recently.
Teacher of the Year candidates were introduced to rounds of
applause during Monday's school board meeting. The
candidates for this year's award were Trudie Miller -Pecos
Kindergarten, Patricia Matthews -Austin Elementary, Barbara
Armstrong -Pecos Elementary, Anna Belle Chavez -Barstow
Elementary, Valerie Martinez -Bessie Haynes, Betty Clark
-Lamar Middle School, Olivia Herrera -Zavala M.S., John Kim
Anderson -Crockett M.S. and Jackeline Mandujano -Pecos High
Valerie Martinez was chosen as Elementary Teacher of the
Year and Jackeline Mandujano was named Secondary Teacher of
Summer school has been approved for this summer but all
location details are not yet finalized. This year, students
will have to show proficiency in the subject they are
attending summer school for as well as attend classes no
less than 90 percent of the time the classes are given.
During the regular school year at PHS, students must be in
attendance 90 percent of the time and earn a grade of at
least 70 to receive course credit.
Love told the board about an essay contest local students
will be able to enter, sponsored by the Natural Resources
Foundation of Texas. Details of the contest appears on
today's Lifestyle page in the Pecos Enterprise.
As in past years, the school board approved use of the Pecos
High School auditorium for this year's Golden Girl Revue and
waived the usage fee.
Two personnel appointments and one resignation were approved
Eva (Abrego) Castro, a teacher with a Masters degree in
Spanish/Bilingual Education and 20 years of experience, was
hired to be the new bilingual teacher at Pecos Elementary
and Gary Grubbs, who holds a Bachelor's of Science in
Kinesiology/History and has 11 years of experience, will be
the new PHS physical education teacher. Jennifer Degler has
resigned from teaching fifth grade at Bessie Haynes.
Heaven or Hell production response strongBy PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, April 15, 1998 - "We need to saddle up; the ride is
just beginning," said Kevin Kimmel of the 640 decisions
resulting from the "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" drama
presented at the Pecos High School auditorium Sunday through
Kimmel, youth director for First Baptist Church, said unity
among the churches made the positive results possible, and
is just the beginning for a spiritual revival that will
cause Pecos to "serve Jesus as the King of Kings and the
Lord of Lords."
Follow up by the churches involved is a priority, Kimmel
said. "We are concerned that someone contact them about
reading their Bible daily, praying and seeking fellowship in
a body (church) somewhere."
Decision cards with a church preference noted by those who
responded will be distributed to that particular church.
Those with no preference will be shared with participating
churches so everyone will be contacted.
James Sain, pastor of West Park Baptist Church, said
response to the drama was great. "It was well received by
those attending. The response is evidence of the quality of
the production and the desires of the hearts of many people.
It shows there is a hunger for God."
More than half those attending responded to the invitation
to accept Jesus as savior or to re-dedicate their lives to
"We appreciate the cast, attendees and responders," said
Rev. Sain. "And we invite those who made a decision to come
see us; to worship with us; we want to help you."
One follow-up action by West Park is to show a videotape of
the stage production at 6 p.m. May 3 for those who missed it.
Kimmel said he expects great things to result from the large
number of youth making a decision.
"I look at our teenagers and see them on fire for the Lord,"
he said. "I think they are finally seeing what the Lord can
do in their lives and the lives of their friends, and it
really excites me to see that."
Children and teenagers invited their friends to attend,
prayed for them and rejoiced to see them respond to the
message: Accept Jesus and go to Heaven or spend eternity in
Hell.' Others cried and prayed for their parents who have
not accepted Jesus.
"If only one responded to the invitation, all the work we
did would have been worth it," Kimmel said. "But God chose
to pour out his blessings upon us. We don't deserve it."
WEATHERPECOS, April 15, 1998 - High Tuesday, 90, low this morning,
47. A cold night is in store across West Texas in the wake
of a weak cold front that was moving southward through the
low rolling plains and southern sections of the Panhandle
today. The mercury dipped to 39 at Dalhart before dawn today
and forecasts called for lows in the 30s and 40s on Thursday
morning in West Texas. But sunny skies will allow for a
quick warmup over most of West Texas on Thursday. Highs
Thursday will be in the 60s and 70s over most of West Texas,
ranging from the 50s in the Panhandle to the lower 80s in
the Big Bend area.
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