April 24, 1998
Interstate accident causes power outage
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - Pecos businesses south of Interstate 20 near Country Club Drive lost power for more than nine hours yesterday, and traffic along the interstate was detoured twice after a oilfield truck traveling on I-20
caught and pulled down power lines over the highway.
Tommy Terry, planner-scheduler for Texas-New Mexico Power
Co., said three utility poles were also pulled down in the
accident, which was reported to the Department of Public
Safety at 4:18 p.m. The oilfield truck was being hauled on
top of a flatbed truck that was westbound on the interstate,
when it caught the power lines that span the highway on the
east side of Country Club Drive.
"A car or truck hit the guide line, and that lowered the
power lines," Terry said. The accident shut the interstate
from 4:30 to 5 p.m., while TNP workers removed the downed
lines from the roadway.
I-20 was closed again from 11:15 p.m. to 12:54 a.m. while
local TNP crews replaced the poles and restrung the lines
over the highway.
"The highway patrol, highway department, police department
and sheriff's department all cooperated in rerouting traffic
through town while we pulled the lines across the
interstate," Terry said.
Vehicles on I-20 were detoured along U.S. 285, Business I-20
and Highway 17 to get around the repair site, while some
cars and trucks familiar to the area used West County Road
and Stafford Boulevard as a high-speed detour.
Employees at Town and Country on Palmer Road, which lost
power from about 4:35 until 1 a.m., were able to lock up
shop and watch the repairs being made along the interstate
"We stayed open until it got too dark," said store manager
Manuela Abila, "and just stayed inside until the power got
back up. We were watching all the guys putting up those
No citations were issued to the truck driver, and Terry said
damage to guide lines on one or two poles along Country Club
Drive created the conditions for the accident.
PHA, Community Council disputes continue
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - Ownership of the property located at
1001 E. 10th Street was the topic of conversation at the
regular Pecos Housing Authority Board meeting last night.
A resolution was adopted at the meeting to hire an abstract
company to do a title search for the property in which the
Pecos Day Care Center is located.
A problem began when Community Council of Reeves County
attempted to sublease the property to Greater Opportunities.
Greater Opportunities has the use of classroom space at the
day care for the Pecos Head Start program.
PHA Board President Frank Perea stated, "We don't want to
hurt the day care and anything we can do to help it, we as a
board will do our best.
"We certainly aren't going to close it down, either."
Perea stated that PHA board wants to do what is best for the
community and keeping the day care open is something they
want to help with.
Community Council Executive Director Caprice Cox wrote to
Betty Carter, of Greater Opportunities, that the
organization would be assessed a "rent" fee of $1,500 per
month for the use of the facility. In addition, in her
correspondence she mentioned that the organization owed,
$11,200 for the period of Jan. 1, 1998, through April 1,
1998. This amount included fees assessed for the use of the
Multi-Purpose Center in Saragosa which also houses Head
"I don't see how she can sublease buildings that do not
belong to the community council," said Perea.
Perea stated that his concern was who had the title for the
Pecos Day Care Center building.
PHA Director Nellie Gomez told the board that in a city
council meeting, in 1973, the city had deeded the property
to the Pecos Housing Authority for the purpose of
constructing a day care center.
"However, I think this was never recorded at the
courthouse," said Gomez.
Gomez also told the group that she has the original plans of
the construction of the day care center, which was built by
"We have that much information stating that we are the
owners of the property, that we have the deed," said Gomez.
"Our next step, if a deed cannot be found or if it was never
recorded, is to hire a lawyer and have the property deeded
to us," said Perea. "It was built by HUD, so it should
belong to PHA," he said.
Board members also read a letter addressed to them, from
Community Council Board President Bill Wendt.
The lengthy letter ended with a series of questions
addressed to the board.
"I don't want to get into petty bickering, we just want to
find out about the property and get that straightened out,"
said Perea. "All this letter is, is a personal opinion," he
"They need to understand that all the decisions made are
made by the board, not just Frank himself," said board
member Yvonne Martin.
"Frank is not the only one on this board," said board member
Debbie Flores. "We make all the decisions together and to
attack Frank personally is wrong," she said.
In his correspondence Wendt stated, "In our searching for
the lease on the day care building, we found that there
never has been a lease. At the same time the building was
built for community council as long as we have a day care
and then the building and property would revert to the Dean
Family. The property is deeded to the city of Pecos and
cannot be deeded to anyone else as the original donation of
the property states that a day care center would be
constructed on the property. Any agreement other than with
the city, who holds the deed, and stating that the property
reverts back to the Dean Family would be the cause for the
property to immediately revert back to the Dean Family."
Wendt further stated, "It is with deep regret that the Pecos
Housing Authority is not trying to help the very people who
they are to be serving. We are attempting to operate
programs for the needy of our area. First you kick us out of
the offices we had at 902 E. 10th using false information
and pretenses as we had the same or greater need for the
offices. We were restructuring and needed the space and use
of the building. This caused us additional expense and
disruption in services to the needy. Then you try to extract
"monies" that could be used for the needy living in the
housing authority. To my knowledge this matter is taken care
of. Now you are attempting to kick us out of the day care
which is for the needy of our community, not the rich. There
is a day care that is not for the poor and needy that
charges considerable more than we do for our day care
services. The poor and needy can not afford to send their
children to such a day care. You will be forcing the poor to
"We are not trying to kick out anybody," said Perea.
"We never said anything about kicking them out, we just want
to establish who has ownership of the property," said Gomez.
"We will do everything we can to help the day care," she
"As for those questions at the end of his letter, it's just
pettiness, that does not need to be addressed," said Perea.
"Our main concern is finding the deed and taking care of
that," he said.
Greater Opportunities is a non-profit organization and other
agencies should not try to make money by assessing them
"rent" or whatever, according to Perea.
Man arrested after shot fired at Red Bluff Lake
By CARA ALLIGOOD
RED BLUFF LAKE, April 24, 1998 - An elderly man was arrested
at Red Bluff Lake last night for alegedly trying to shoot a
neighbor, according to Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez.
Gomez said that the man, Howard Snodgrass, 76, became angry,
possibly because a neighbor was playing loud music, and
alegedly went after him with a gun. However, Gomez said,
"There wasn't a shooting. This man shot in the air and at
somebody, but he missed. We took the SWAT team out and got
him out of bed and brought him in" to the jail, Gomez said.
According to the sheriff, Pecos police officers, Reeves
County Sheriff's deputies and the SWAT team all arrived at
Red Bluff Lake after the attempted shooting was reported. He
said that once law enforcement officers arrived, several
people from the area told the authorities they had seen
Snodgrass go outside and shoot into the air for no apparent
Snodgrass, who was staying in a trailer in Orla at Red Bluff
Lake but claiming to live in Kermit, was arrested at 11:23
p.m. Thursday and charged with aggravated assault with a
deadly weapon. He is currently in Reeves County Jail, and an
appointment has been made for an MHMR (Mental Health and
Mental Retardation) evaluation on him, according to the
Gomez said that the sheriff's department investigation is
Program shines after Cornell University Study
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - Maria Alvarado has a lot of family
in Pecos. With a shy, nervous laugh she conveyed that the
actual number is unknown. But the most important family now
is her own.
This pleasant, bubbly woman of 22 wants to stress what is
apparent in the healthy, glowing faces of her two daughters,
what two of her older sisters knew before her, and what a
recent Cornell University study recently found. Alvarado
wants Pecos women to know that WIC works.
Alvarado, married with two daughters, Karina, two, and
Alina, four months, is the third woman in her family to
benefit from the federally-funded program known as Women,
Infants and Children (WIC). She says she learned a lot from
the many WIC classes she has attended. Alvarado learned what
foods are really good for her -and for her two children.
Though she admits she still ate "a lot of junk food" during
her first pregnancy, without WIC, she said, junk food is
probably all she would have eaten.
Alvarado said the program taught her about fruits and
vegetables and to study product labels closely. "Some juices
are only sugar and water," she said.
Before she found out she was pregnant the first time those
sugary foods were her favorite.
"I ate high-sugar cereals and drinks like Tang, but here
they give you foods high in vitamins."
The vouchers distributed to needy mothers by WIC are very
different from welfare checks. WIC requires the user to
purchase very specific (and healthy) foods, and continues to
provide for the infants after they are born.
Women who qualify by income or demonstatable nutritional
need in this program, administered by the Texas Department
of Health, learn what foods are healthy to eat, why
breastfeeding is better for the baby and how to raise
Now she has plans on joining WIC in educating others of the
necessity of healthy diets and the benefits of
"Breastfed children don't get sick as often. The milk is
easier to digest, and they gain more weight," she said.
The program endorses breastfeeding for additional reasons.
According to WIC officials, breastfeeding also can offer a
"special closeness" with your child, enhance post-pregnancy
weight loss, is easier than bottle-feeding and more
A recent study by Cornell University supports what Alvarado
and two of her seven sisters already understand about the
The study has proven that low-income preschoolers whose
families get federal food aid have much healthier diets than
low-income children without assistance, especially
benefiting from programs like WIC that help dictate the
diets of the recipients.
Doctor Jean-Pierre Habicht, Donald Rose of the USDA's
Economic Research Service and Barbara Devaney of Mathmatica
Policy Research, studied 499 low-income preschoolers, that
were either enrolled in WIC or a food-stamp program or both.
"The iron and zinc benefits from these programs are
particularly important because iron deficiency is the single
most prevalent nutritional deficiency in the U.S., with 20
percent of low-income preschoolers under two years of age
suffering from anemia," said Habicht. "Zinc is also
important because other studies suggest that zinc
deficiencies are related to growth retardation."
The Cornell study showed that iron and zinc levels were far
below the Recommended Daily Allowance for low-income
preschoolers not receiving aid, but WIC kids were found to
be well above the zinc and iron RDAs.
The study analyzed the amounts of 15 nutrients consumed over
three days. The intake of 10 of the nutrients (vitamins E,
A, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, iron
and zinc) was significantly improved for WIC recipients, and
only five (vitamin A, iron, zinc, thiamine and niacin) were
improved in those in the Food Stamp Program.
The final report states that "The beneficial effects,
especially of the WIC program, on iron and zinc intakes are
not only significant in public health terms but are also
much greater than what would have been achieved with
increases in cash income. It is also important to note that
these benefits come without the potentially deleterious
effects of increase in the intake of fat, saturated fat and
Of her own children enrolled in the program, Alvarado said,
"Neither has gotten sick much. They've had the flu, but
The study was funded in part by the United States Department
of Agriculture, whose food assistance programs cost nearly
$38 billion in 1995.
PHS advances to UIL Academic Regionals
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - Several Pecos High School students
will be putting their academic skills to the test as they
compete at a higher level in UIL Academic Competition.
The students will be competing in Regional competition
scheduled for today at Angelo State University in San Angelo.
"We'll be up against some really tough competition, but
we'll give it a good shot," said teacher Barbara Scown.
The UIL Academic team attended the district meet at Howard
College in Big Springs and several students did well enough
to compete in regionals, according to Scown.
The science team consisting of Jonathan Fuentes, Jeff Lam
and Efrain Rodriguez will be attending the competition along
with the accounting team, with Erik Barreno, Erin Paz,
Dalila Valenzuela and Belinda Heard.
"Some of these students will be competing with their team
and also individually," said Scown.
Others making the trek to San Angelo include Erik Barreno,
accounting; Joshua Casillas, speech; Jonathan Fuentes,
current events and science; Tye Graham, current events
alternate; Brandi Harrison, journalism; Marisa Jasso,
journalism; Jeff Lam, science; Eric Machuca, speech
alternate; Erin Paz, accounting and journalism; Efrain
Rodriguez, science and computer applications; and Dalila
Valenzuela and Belinda Heard, accounting.
The students have really been studying, the accounting and
science team have been working really hard, according to
"Actually, each and every student has gone out of their way
in preparing for this competition," she said.
Scown stated that she really admires these students because
of their hard work, especially during this time of year when
finals are coming up and end of school year activities.
"We just hope we don't lose by three points," said student
Paz is a member of the accounting team and she was referring
to the fact that last year, Pecos' accounting team lost by
only three points and came in second at regionals.
"We've been working really hard and plan to give it our
all," said Jonathan Fuentes, who is a member of the science
The students had a practice meet with other schools from the
area this past week. "We practice at least twice a week,"
"I come in every day to practice," said Marisa Jasso.
"We just hope all our hard work pays off," said Brandi
Teacher sponsors include Charlie Wein, accounting; Priss
McNutt, current events; Ben Price, speech; Peggy Jones,
journalism; Jerry Workman is head of the science department
with John Barfield helping out with chemistry; Barbara
Scown, biology; and Jackeline Mandujan, computer
About 50 schools will be competing in the spring meet, in
Region I, Conference 4-A.
County commissioners meet Monday
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - Reeves County Commissioners will
meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 27, on the third floor of
the Reeves County Courthouse to discuss the formation of an
underground water district for Reeves, Pecos, Ward and
Loving counties; a traffic speed sign for Brogado area;
award bid for a computer network for Reeves County Detention
Center (RCDC); and declare unusable equipment and tools at
RCDC as salvage and surplus.
Also on the agenda is the donation by Jimmy Dutchover of
trees for Reeves County Golf Course; Big Bend Coca-Cola's
soda machine agreement and Reeves County; courthouse
telephone service; expenses for JP, Precinct 2; elections
hardware and maintenance agreement; selection of 1998 salary
grievance committee members and various departmental reports.
Banes General Contractor's claim for additional time for
adverse weather conditions; RCDC salary changes and a
recreation and civil engineering coordination architecht
agreement; budget amendments and line-item transfers;
payment of bills and notice of over-axle over-gross weight
permit will also be discussed by the commissioners.
April 24, 1998
Bealah Copeland, 90, of Pecos, died Wednesday, April 22,
1998, at Reeves County Hospital.
Services are scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, April 25, at
Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints with John Swanson and
Robert Copeland, Jr. officiating. Burial will be Monday, at
2 p.m., at Coleman Cemetery.
Copeland was born Nov. 9, 1907, in Gateville, Tx. She was a
homemaker and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Survivors include: one son, Robert D. Copeland, Jr. of
Pawnee, Okla.; two daughters, Helen L. Stephens of Pecos and
Nancy Freeman of Ringold, La.; one brother, Robert E. Beeman
of Visalia, Calif.; 11 grandchildren; and 14
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, April 24, 1998 - High Thursday, 94, low this morning,
57. A clear morning should give way to another sunny, warm
day across Texas. A wind advisory is in effect for West
Texas today. Winds this morning reached 20 mph, with higher
gusts over the Conhco Valley. Temperatures at 5 a.m. were in
the 50s and 60s. Mostly sunny skies are in store for this
afternoon. Highs should reach the 90s, with lows in the 50s
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