Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, May 18, 1998
Parents told about `new look' gangs
By GREG HARMAN
Concerned parents, school and city leaders gathered Friday
evening at the Pecos High School cafeteria to hear Andy
Sustaita, Region 18's coordinator for safe and drug-free
schools, discuss some of the identifying signs of the new
Gang members are not what they used to be, Sustaita told the
group. The old stereotypes of long hair, bandana, saggy
jeans and "tattoos all over," have been broken by the new
gang culture, he said.
Today just about anybody may be in a gang, they "have
crossed all cultures, rich and poor. It doesn't matter if
you're Anglo, black, Hispanic or Asian," Sustaita said.
Also, gang members have moved away from the old conspicuous
uniforms and begun to sport top-of-the-line designer clothes.
Two booklets that were distributed to attendees helped
define the various types of street gangs, their vocabulary
and specific hand signals, and signs to look for in young
people that may betray gang involvement.
According to one survey of confirmed gang members, every
members profiled was either a child of divorced or separated
parents, a victim of physical or sexual abuse, or one or
both parents some of form of severe dysfunction, such as
alcoholism or bullemia.
"Everything comes down to what is happening in the home,"
Urging parents to continue their efforts against local
gangs, Sustaita said, "The best thing (gangs) like to prey
on is a community that is not knowledgeable. That community
is not safe."
The Region 18 coordinator said he had a lot of faith in
Pecos. "I'm excited about Pecos because they've taken the
initiative in so many areas. They were one of the first
schools that said, `Hey, we're willing to try anything.'"
One of those first steps was the implementation of a student
mediation program. Begun several years ago, students receive
training directly from the Region 18 Service Center in
Midland in hearing and resolving conflict effectively.
According to Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez,
high school students were trained during the 1995-96 school
year and eighth graders have also been receiving mediation
Disappointed by the low meeting turnout - only a modest
increase from the previous Friday's meeting when parents
agreed to bring two more families for each then attending -
Louis Matta asked parents to figure out if the time or place
is keeping possible participants away.
"There's seven days in the week," Matta said, "If we need to
make another day - we'll make time."
County Commissioner for Precinct 3, Herman Tarin, reminded
those present that the county would support their efforts
and had $1,400 budgeted for graffiti removal. Tarin also
told parents that the estimated 40 gang members in Pecos may
be as high as 150, according to a conversation he had with
one admitted gang member.
At the close of the meeting Pecos City Councilman Gerald
Tellez said, "There are very few homes without firearms in
West Texas. Be very careful with them."
The next "Parents Against Gangs" meeting is scheduled for 7
p.m. Friday, May 29 in the Pecos High School cafeteria.
Cancer Society's `Relay' raises $3,500
By ROSIE FLORES
The American Cancer Society raised about $3,500 to benefit
cancer patients in Reeves County during the First Annual
Relay for Life, held at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena this
Seven teams participated in the relay, with American Home
Health placing first for most laps. The team had a total of
372 laps, which is equal to 74½ miles.
First National Bank was the team the raised the most money
during the 18-hour event.
A total of seven cancer patient survivors were on hand and
participated in the event in the survivors walk. Cancer
survivors on hand included Linda Smith, Oscar Ornelas, Norma
Jean Reynolds, Charlene Pry, Mary Evans, Marcella Fierro and
The group received a loud round of applause after doing the
first lap and being introduced to those assembled.
Any individual who is interested in making a contribution to
the worthy cause can do so at First National Bank.
Sponsors for the event were Reeves County Hospital and
American Home Health Agency.
"We're very excited with the response to the event,
especially since it was the first annual one," said Nancy
Ontiveros of Reeves County Hospital. "Many of the
participants stated that they would like to help organize
next year's event."
The Youth Advisory Council, a youth group sponsored by the
Town of Pecos City, and which consists of outstanding youth
in the community was the most enthusiastic.
"It was great, seeing those kids with so much enthusiasm and
giving their all to this worthy cause," said Ontiveros.
"Everybody really enjoyed it," she said. "It brought people
together that otherwise wouldn't be."
T-Shirts are still available if anyone would like to help
the organization by purchasing one can do so by calling
Ontiveros at 447-3551, ext. 350 or Marie Cardenas at
Ontiveros said organizers for the first annual event want to
thank everybody who had anything to do with the event or
participated in any way.
"It was just great and we got a good response from the
community," she said.
Ex-Presidio deputy IDed as slay victim
A former Presidio County sheriff's deputy has been
identified as one of the two men whose bullet-riddled bodies
were found last Wednesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents along
the Rio Grande.
A spokesperson for the Presidio County Sheriff's Department
said early this afternoon that Rigoberto Loera, 27, who
resigned about a year ago from the department, was one of
the two victims, while the second man was identified as
Geraldo Pando, 27, of Presidio.
Their bodies were found be the border patrol covered by a
quilt in the back of a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer, which was
parked along the river just southeast of Redford.
Loera was identified by fingerprint records, the department
said. Justice of the Peace Dan Bodine, who pronounced the
two men dead, said one of the victims' face was
unrecognizable due to the bullet wounds.
However, an official cause of death has yet to be
determined, the sheriff's department said, pending
completion of the autopsies on Pando and Loera in Lubbock.
Cause of Oleander Street blaze sought
By ROSIE FLORES
A fire which demolished a home located at 309 Oleander is
still under investigation, according to Town of Pecos City
Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.
The fire started in the kitchen of the home, around the
floor in the kitchen area. "It appears that something was
poured or spilled on the floor of the kitchen and that's
where the fire started," said Brookshire.
The house was a total loss, but no injuries were reported.
All seven of the Pecos fire department's trucks were on
called out to the fire.
"Our biggest problem was that the house had a wood shingle
roof and another layer of tin, and the fire got between the
wood and the tin," said Brookshire.
He added that firefighters had to peel the tin roof off and
the solid wood ceiling also had sheetrock. Firemen couldn't
get the fire under control without peeling off the tin and
getting the sheetrock off.
"That's why we were there so long," said Brookshire.
There was a little damage reported to a carport at the
apartment located next to the home.
"That was our biggest concern, controlling the fire and
protecting the structures around it," said Brookshire.
"By the time we got there, the fire was already going
through the roof and at that time we were more concerned
with the adjacent buildings," he said.
Smog alert is extended to W. Texas
From Staff and Wire Reports
West Texas finally got some recognition from state officials
at the Texas Health Department and Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission, which extended the smog health
warning was include West Texas Friday afternoon.
The health alert that has covered much of the rest of the
state since last Wednesday, and concerned with the smoke
generated by agricultural fires - called by one TNRCC
official a "giant campfire," burning in Mexico and Central
America - that now cover the entire state.
"Some Texans may get some relief in the next few days, while
other parts of the state will experience smoky conditions,"
said Barry McBee, chairman of the Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission. "Pay attention to your local
conditions and use common sense."
Visibility in Houston dropped to as low as a quarter-mile on
Sunday and portions of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas were
shrouded in a grey mist: a product of agricultural fires in
South and Central America.
People with asthma, senior citizens and children are
especially advised to be cautious when smog is visibly
While most of the smoke have moved across the region from
over 1,000 miles away, closer to home, a fire in the Chinati
Mountains between Marfa and Presidio spread on two fronts
over the weekend, according to the Texas Forest Service.
About one-third of the 58,000-acre Marfa-area fire was still
burning Saturday, the forest service said. Officials believe
that the fire started about May 6.
The force battling the Presidio County blaze includes 133
firefighters and overhead team members, three National Guard
helicopters, eight engines, one bulldozer, eight water
trucks, one fuel truck and three handtool crews.
Forest service officials are worried that dry conditions
will lead to more fires, and they urged caution.
``Most fires result from someone's carelessness, so
increased observance of fire-safety precautions can greatly
reduce wildfires and the destruction they cause,'' said Jim
Blott, a forest service spokesman.
Drought increases threat from rattlesnakes
Town of Pecos City Health Director Armando Gil is warning
city residents to be more alert for rattlesnakes within the
city limits, after receiving reports of the poisonous snakes
being found at several sites around town.
"We are asking people to be very careful, even in their own
backyards," said Gil, explaining that due to the ongoing
drought, a declining food supply in rural areas for rats and
mice, the snakes' staple food source, has brought more of
the rodents in from outlying areas into Pecos proper.
"The rattlesnakes have followed their food supply," said
Officials at the Reeves County Hospital advise snake bite
victims to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. The
snake itself is useful for identification purposes, but
remember that even a decapitated rattlesnake head has a
reaction time of to an hour and may bite again.
Do not use a tourniquet and do not apply ice. Suction may
be applied if the hospital is more than two hours away, but
do not incise.
The bitten part should be bandaged and kept below the level
of the heart.
Billionaire pushing Andrews dump site
DALLAS (AP) - Blocked by state officials, a company
controlled by a Dallas billionaire is lobbying aggressively
for federal authority to dispose of nuclear waste in West
Texas at the same time it is seeking a napalm disposal
contract from the federal government.
But the U.S. Department of Energy has joined the state in
blocking efforts by Waste Control Specialists to land the
contracts to bury so-called low-level nuclear waste, which
includes contaminated soil, clothing, tools and machinery,
at a site in Andrews County, six miles east of Eunice, N.M.
The Dallas Morning News reported Monday that the company,
controlled by investor Harold Simmons, has gone to the
courts and Congress to overcome state opposition to its
WCS has promised to turn its $50 million hazardous-waste
dump in Andrews County, along the New Mexico border, into
``the center of the waste management universe.'' Andrews
County business and government leaders support the company
as a jobs-creator.
Last week, a federal appeals court dealt WCS a setback by
overturning a lower court order that would have forced the
Energy Department to let the company bid on its nuclear
waste disposal contracts. A WCS attorney said the company
will probably appeal.
The company has also hired politically connected Washington
lobbyists to press its case, promising one an $18 million
payoff if the WCS bid is successful, and donated more than
$90,000 to key senators and House members over the past two
years, the newspaper reported. The company also got
congressional allies to block promotion of an Energy
Department official it considers an obstacle to its plans,
the Morning News said.
State officials in Texas and elsewhere fear that a WCS
victory could damage the right of states to decide what
waste gets buried within their boundaries. Texas Attorney
General Dan Morales sided with the Energy Department in its
rejection of a plan to sidestep state regulation and allow
the Andrews County dump to be regulated by the federal
The Energy Department expects to spend between $200 million
and $800 million to bury about 2 million cubic meters of
low-level nuclear waste generated by the cleanup of the Cold
War nuclear-arms race.
The Energy Department requires companies bidding on the
disposal work to have a state license or, in some cases,
approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But WCS has
been unable to convince the Texas legislature to change a
state law that prohibits private companies from burying
WCS, which is also partly owned by former U.S. Rep. Kent
Hance, has hired several prominent lobbyists to press its
case, including Republican political consultant Charles
Black, two of Gov. George W. Bush's former closest advisors
and a former top aide to the Senate Energy Committee.
The Morning News reported that court documents showed Hance
asked Sens. Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both
R-Texas, and Richard Shelby, R-Miss., to block a vote on the
nomination of Mary Anne Sullivan as Energy Department
general counsel. Ms. Sullivan's nomination was approved by
the Senate Energy Committee but blocked in the full Senate.
Aides to the two Texas senators denied they had blocked the
At the same time WCS is seeking the nuclear waste contract,
the company announced it is planning to bid on the contract
to recycle and dispose of 23 million pounds of deadly napalm
the Navy has left over from the Vietnam War. The jellied
gasoline would be shipped by rail to the Andrews County site
The Navy has been looking for someone to take the napalm
stored in Fallbrook, Calif., about 50 miles north of San
Diego, since an Indiana company it selected backed out
because of local and political opposition.
A lawyer for the Texas waste recycler said napalm is not as
hazardous as commonly believed.
``We've entered into the bidding process for the contract,
recognizing that people have concerns with napalm because of
the images concerned,'' said John Kyte, a Washington, D.C.,
lawyer for Waste Control Specialists.
``We live with so many hazardous things that come through
this town all the time,'' said Liz Stottlemyre, chairwoman
of the Andrews Chamber of Commerce, who supports the
napalm-recycling bid. ``It's going to be safer than the
gasoline trucks that come through.''
Waste Control Specialists opened the 1,400-acre recycling
center and hazardous-waste dump in January 1997 at a cost of
about $60 million. It employs about 60 people and is 30
miles west of Andrews, where most of the county's population
lives. Kyte said the company would have to add workers if it
wins the napalm-recycling contract, but couldn't be
AREA NEWS ROUNDUP
The Big Bend Sentinel
Marfa, May 14, 1998 - The cities of Marfa and Alpine
could split as much as $500,000 as the result of the recent
partial asset sale of Southwest Texas Municipal Gas Co. But
before wish lists are filled, Marfa Mayor Fritz Kahl said he
wants to know the exact amount the cities will receive. On
paper, Marfa and Alpine should receive $250,000 each. The
actual disbursement could change before the checks are cut
this summer, Kahl said.
Presidio, Tx. May 14, 1998 - A range fire in the Chinati
Mountains of south Presidio County burned into its ninth day
Wednesday, but so far there's been no injuries and little
damage other than to fence and grass, officials said. Dry
range conditions and wind gusts have made all of Far West
Texas a tinderbox.
Sanderson, Tx., May 14, 1998 - Terrell County
Commissioners were asked to answer some questions about the
Shafter Crossing road which has been known locally as
"Bootlegger Highway, which begins about three miles east of
Dryden and extends about 14 miles south. The questions were
included in a submission to the court by Bobby Mumme who
lives on the Shafter Crossing road.
Iraan, Pecos County, May 14, 1998 - Three Iraan
students competed in the state U.I.L. academic meet, May
7-8. Betsy Brooks, a senior, competed in poetry
interpretation. Linsey McAnally, also a senior, competed in
feature writing and placed third among the top 12
competitors in the state. Junior Ashleigh Holmes competed in
spelling and placed fifth.
The Monahans News
MONAHANS, May 14, 1998 - Ward County
Commissioners Monday approved regulations for free public
access to the Internet with computers located at the Ward
County Public Library. Although the hardware (two
state-of-the-art computers and a printer) is now in place to
access the Internet, the service is not yet available to the
public because library staff have not been trained to assist
the public in Internet access, according to Bonnie Moore,
High Sunday 101. low this morning 72. Forecast for tonight:
Showers and thunderstorms possible, with lows in the 60s.
Tuesday: Chance of showers continues, with highs in the 90s
and around 103 in the Big Bend area.
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