Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 29, 1998
More layoffs at Freeport mine
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 29, 1998 - Twelve contractual employees of
Freeport McMoRan Sulphur's Culberson mine, supplied by
Pecos Valley Field Service, were laid off in what the
company refers to as an effort to reduce over-all costs
"As the company continues to find ways to remain
profitable, they took action on Friday to reduce the
amountof contractual labor employed by the
company," said company spokesman Bill Collier.
"We will continue to review costs in all parts of
The contract laborers were used by Freeport for
specialty jobs, including electrical and welding work.
Officials at Pecos Valley Field Service would not
comment on the company's action.
The layoff follows a reduction in production at the
Culberson mine enacted in January. Company officials
at that time said that the reduction of 22 percent, or
200,000 long tons of annual product, would not result in
any employee layoffs.
The Frasch sulphur mine, located about 30 miles north of
Pecos in Culberson County, has reduced production by
550 long tons per day.
Freeport McMoRan Sulphur (FSC on the New York Stock
Exchange) began as a new public company on Dec. 23,
1997, in the wake of a massive merger between Freeport-
McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FTX) and IMC Global Inc. (NYSE:IGL)
with IGL as the surviving entity.
Newly-elected president Robert M. Wohleber said in
January that the reductions were being taken in response
to a developing near-term imbalance in the U.S. sulphur
Collier estimated the life expectancy of the mine at
about 10 years.
Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur Inc. is now the largest producer
of Frasch sulphur in the world. It is involved in
mining, purchasing, transporting, terminaling and
marketing sulphur and the production of related oil and
GED program gives second chance
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 29, 1998 - Twice a week they gather at the
Carver Center, located at the corner of Locust and 12th
streets, taking advantage of a second chance to complete
their high school education.
The students differ in ages, gender, sizes and shapes,
but all have one goal in mind, to get a better
education. Their reasons for wanting to improve their
education levels also vary, but it's like one student
put it, "We're thankful for David Reyes who has
been an inspiration and has given us a second
chance," said Nora Lujan.
Lujan is just one of many students who expressed their
gratitude for their teacher and mentor. "I dropped
out of school years ago, and now I am able to go out
into the work force and I've never gotten my GED,"
"Right now, that's what I'm working towards and I
plan to go to college later," said Lujan.
"It's never too late to get an education and do
something with your life and David is a very good
teacher," she said.
Noel Valenzuela is just 20 years old. "I'm trying to
get my GED, so that I can go to college in the
fall," he said. "I wasn't interested in school
while I was attending it, but I missed it after a
while," he said.
"You can't get a good job without an education and I
plan to continue mine," said Lujan.
Twenty-six year old Leo Ornelas stated that it was
really "dumb" of him to drop out of school.
"I kind of missed it later and I regretted
it," he said.
Ornelas stated that after seeing his brother graduate
from college and land a good job, he was inspired to
further his education. "He was very successful, he
impressed me and I was proud of him," said Ornelas.
"I wanted the same thing for myself," he said.
Diana Iniquez is 21-years-old and a ninth-grade drop out.
"I'm sorry now that I dropped out," said
Iniquez. "I want to get a better job and I'm doing
this for my kids so that they can have a better life,
and later on, when I get a chance, I'm going to go to
college also," she said.
Elva Rodriguez was close to graduating from high school
when she dropped out in the 11th grade. "I can't
believe I did that, I was so close already," she
"I was so young and dumb," said Rodriguez.
"I just wanted to have fun and party, but now that
I know what the world is really like, I'm looking
forward to furthering my education and eventually
becoming a paralegal," she said.
"I've got David to thank for that, I already have my
GED and will continue with my education," she said.
"I dropped out in the ninth grade and now I have a
little girl," said Julie Aguilar. "I can't
teach her that education is important if I don't have
that education myself," said Aguilar. "I need
to know how to teach her also and I need to show her a
good example," she said.
Maria Gomez, 24, agreed with Aguilar. "I'm doing it
for my kids, to give them a better life and a better
education," she said.
GED classes sponsored through Odessa College and the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD are free. For more information
or to register for the class call 445-2756.
Sentences handed out in court
PECOS, April 29, 1998 - Federal Judge Lucius D. Bunton
presided over a slew of marijuana cases on Monday,
handing out several sentences.
Jose Freddy Arriaga-Cabrera, 25, was found guilty of one
count of possession with intent to distribute and
sentenced to 60 months, with substance abuse treatment
Cabrera is from Odessa.
Alberto Samaguey, a 20-year-old Pecos resident of 825
North Elm Street, was convicted on one count of
possession with intent to distribute and sentenced to 12
months and a day, with a $2,000 fine tacked on.
Juan Reynaldo Parada-Jasso, 18, and Pedro Garcia-
Quintana, 46, were each found guilty of possession with
intent to distribute. Jasso, of 1401 West Fifth Street
in Pecos, was sentenced 63 months, with substance abuse
treatment recommended, and Quintana, of Lovington, was
sentenced to 60 months with an additional $2,000 fine.
Obed Versatigui, 30, was found guilty on three counts,
including conspiracy to import marijuana, importation of
marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. The
Dallas resident was sentenced to 36 months.
Marcelina Gonzalez-de Orona, 53, of Midland, was found
guilty of importation of marijuana and possession with
intent to distribute. She was sentenced to 21 months.
Aida Salazar Dominguez, 31, of Hobbs, N.M., was found
guilty on two counts, the importation of marijuana and
possession with intent to distribute, and sentenced to
Raul Bueno-Ortega, 20, also of Hobbs, N.M., was sentenced
to 24 months in jail and given a $1,000 fine for
possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. It
was recommended that Ortega be sent to boot camp in
Lewisburg, Pa., if he is eligible.
Sergio Perez-Estrada, 36, and Humberto Hinojosa-
Rodriguez, 22, were both found guilty of possession with
intent to distribute. Estrada was sentenced to be
incarcerated for 72 months. Rodriguez, who was also
convicted of importation of marijuana, was sentenced to
60 months. Both are from Ojinaga, Mexico.
Arturo Quezada Saenz, a 27-year-old from 911 East Fourth
Street in Pecos, was sentenced to 115 months for
possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Juan Jose Granado, of Emporia, Kan., and Angel
Anchondo-Nunez Jr., of Odessa, were sentenced to 37 and
36 months, respectively, for possession of marijuana
with intent to distribute.
Horacio Rodriguez Baca, a 26-year-old from Ralls, Tex.,
was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment for the
importation of marijuana.
A bench warrant was issued for Guadalupe Coronado
Belmares, who failed to appear in court on Monday.
Joseph Justice, 21, of Alpine, was sentenced to 6 months
for violating terms of his probation.
A motion to continue was filed in the case of Robert Dale
Holly. His case will continue at 10 a.m., Thursday,
Early voting ends for Saturday election
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 29, 1998 - Early voting ended yesterday
with 643 votes cast by personal appearance in the city,
school and hospital elections.
"We had a total of 227 ballots sent out by
mail," said voting clerk Debbie Thomas.
Out of the 227, 154 have been returned. "I'm sure
we'll get the rest back, they still have until
Saturday," said Thomas.
All ballots returned by mail by Saturday will be counted.
"We had a total of 212 voters on Tuesday, which was
the biggest amount that we had had since early voting
began," said Thomas.
Early voting started out slowly with an average of about
40 voters per day, according to Thomas.
"Right now, we're getting everything ready for
Saturday," she said.
And if you're wondering where to cast your vote on
Saturday, things have been made easy, with consolidated
voting. All voters in Pecos will cast their ballots at
the Community Center, located on Oak Street, next door
to the Pecos Police Department.
Voters in Saragosa will vote at the Multi-Purpose Center;
Balmorhea will cast their votes at the Senior Citizens
Center; Orla, at the Red Bluff Office; Toyah individuals
will vote at the Toyah City Hall and Barstow residents
will go to the Community Center to cast their votes.
PECOS, April 29, 1998 - High Tuesday, 76, low this
morning, 46. Skies will be clearing across all of Texas
tonight and Thursday. It will be clear to partly cloudy
tonight and mostly sunny on Thursday in West Texas. Lows
tonight will be in the 40s and 50s. Highs Thursday will
be in the 70s and 80s.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise