Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, May 26, 1998
City awarded $350,000 grant
By GREG HARMAN
Town of Pecos City officials were told today the city has
received funding for repairing the pipeline to one of the
city's two water fields.
Pecos, along with the city of Toyah and Reeves County, were
three of six governmental entities in District 80 chosen by
the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to
receive grant money for various water and sewer development
projects, State Rep. Gary Walker announced on Friday.
Pecos will receive a $350,000 grant for the repair and
replacement of a section of 24-inch water transmission line
from the Ward County Well Field. Reeves County will also get
$350,000, to provide a new water supply and improve water
pressure for the Lindsay Addition on the southwest side of
The City of Toyah is to receive $17,300 for water and
Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal said he was "thrilled to
death" Pecos was chosen as one of the grant recipients.
"This will keep the water coming," he said.
A representative of Texas Department of Housing and
Community Affairs is expected to formally announce the
decision at Thursday morning's meeting of the Pecos City
The Ward County Field and the Worsham Field supply water to
city residents, but council members were told in 1994 that a
replacement field would be needed by the year 2008 in order
to maintain acceptable water quality.
The council is still investigating ways to secure the needed
$8 million dollars for developing a new water field south of
Pecos, Neal said.
Nearly 100 cities and counties in Texas are to receive $26.9
million to help finance various water, sewer and street
projects. The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Affairs through the Texas Department of
Housing and Community Affairs.
Grants also went to Seagraves and Seminole within Walker's
District 80, while Dell City, Presidio and Culberson County
also were awarded grants, according to a press release from
Texas Sen. Phil Gramm's office.
Absentees could leave CCRC without meals
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Meals on Wheels may suffer a flat tire if the Community
Council of Reeves County can't marshal a quorum for this
Friday's board meeting.
CCRC chairman Bill Wendt said this morning that he has tried
four times to get the board together to accept the
resignation of executive director Caprice Cox and to choose
a replacement for her.
"I have heard the rumor they already have someone in mind
for the executive director position, but I can't get them
together," Wendt said. The most recent meeting, set for the
Pyote Community Center last Friday, again failed to convene
Cox said her resignation is effective at 5 p.m. today, and
she is signing everything she can. But Wendt said she cannot
sign the Elderly Meals contract with the Texas Department of
Human Services because she has resigned.
"I just got off the phone with them," Wendt said. "If we
don't have a person by Monday to sign the contracts, we are
going to lose our elderly meals programs."
The program delivers more than 100 meals in Reeves County
alone. Meals are also served in Winkler and Ward counties
through the same contracts.
Cox said that the board has not advertised the executive
director position and has no interim director in place.
Only five board members showed up for the Friday meeting,
and eight are required.
"And we have to have at least two from each sector (elected
officials, private, participant, etc.) They didn't meet that
either," Cox said.
"They promise they will be there, but when it comes time for
the meeting, they aren't there," Wendt said. "It is serious."
Wendt said his term is up because he has served the maximum
five years, but no new chairman has been elected.
"I guess I can carry it until they have the election, but it
isn't a good situation," he said.
Vice-chairman Karon Shelton has resigned, leaving 14 board
members. They are Wendt, chairman; Charlene Brooks, Kermit;
Mary Garcia, Monahans; Joyce Wilhelm, Imperial; Felipe
Arredondo, Herman Tarin, Julian Florez, Andy Gomez, Sally
Lara, Jessie Heard, Monahans; Suzie Smith, Monahans; Sherry
Downing, Kermit; Joe Renteria, Mentone; and Anita Baeza.
Young drivers appear higher in dry counties
By JUAN B. ELIZONDO Jr.
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN (AP) -- Armstrong County Sheriff Carmella Jones has a
Her small Panhandle county, home mostly to people over 65,
had the state's highest rate of DWI arrests of young drivers
in 1996, according to research by The Associated Press.
Odd, perhaps, considering Armstrong County doesn't allow
liquor sales within its borders.
As high school graduations and summer vacation season loom,
the AP reviewed driving-while-intoxicated arrest records for
drivers ages 16 to 20 during 1996 and the first six months
Per capita rates were calculated for each of the state's 254
counties for DWI arrests in 1996, the last year for which
U.S. Census Bureau age population estimates were available.
Reeves County's DWI arrest rate was slightly below the
average for the entire state. The county reported 4 DWI
arrests out of the 1,174 residents between the ages of 16
and 20, for a 0.34 percent rate. Texas as a whole had a rate
of 0.41 percent.
The numbers showed Armstrong County had just more than five
DWI arrests for every 100 young residents in 1996, or 5.17
percent, the state's highest rate. Ms. Jones called that
``We've got a large city nearby, Amarillo. We've got a lake
that is one county away, which is the only body of water (in
the area). We are the county between the city and the
water,'' Ms. Jones.
She said only one of the young drivers arrested for DWI in
1996 was an Armstrong County resident. Two of the six
reported DWIs involved the same people, she added.
Even so, Ms. Jones said youth DWI is a problem for her
``I know that these (drivers) are not from here, but they
are from somewhere. I know they don't live here, but they
are going through here and that bothers me. That should
bother anybody on the road,'' she said.
Texas law enforcement agencies reported 6,044 arrests of
drivers ages 16 to 20 for DWI in 1996, according to the
Department of Public Safety.
That was a rate of four arrests per 1,000 Texans ages 16 to
20. There were 1,457,262 people in that age group two years
In the first six months last year, there were 3,042
youth-DWI arrests, the DPS reported.
Harris County recorded 596 youth-DWI arrests in 1996 for a
rate of two per 1,000. Dallas County had 636 arrests for a
rate of four per 1,000 youths.
Among other West Texas counties, Hudspeth County had the
highest rate of arrests, with six for its 258 residents
between 16 and 20 years old. Next were Mitchell County
(Colorado City) and Nolan County (Sweetwater) with arrest
rates just above and below 2 percent respectively.
Other area counties with youth DWI arrest rates higher than
Reeves County were Scurry (1.73 percent), Terrell (1.64
percent), Brewster (1.05 percent), Gaines (1.01 percent),
Winkler (0.88 percent), Andrews (0.67 percent), Midland
(0.66 percent), Presidio (0.44 percent), Howard (0.38
percent) and Ector (0.36 percent).
Ward County reported four DWI arrests out of 1,004 residents
in the 16-20 group, for an 0.40 percent rate, while Pecos
County had three arrests among its 1,454 residents in that
group, for a 0.21 percent rate. Reagan (0.31) and Crane
(0.26) counties also reported lower rates than the state
average, and Jeff Davis and Loving counties were among 27
which reported no youth DWI arrests in 1996.
Why young people drink and drive is a question only they can
``On Friday and Saturday nights, there's peer pressure. If
your friends do it, you're going to do it,'' said
16-year-old Raymond Lopez of Dallas. ``But there are things
you can do to prevent it. More parents need to know what
their kids are doing.''
Matt Byrom, 18, of Dallas, said he fears getting caught more
``I know people who drink and drive, but they're not
drunk,'' Byrom said. ``I'm just afraid of cops.''
The rates were higher in smaller, rural counties that have
fewer people overall, according to the AP research.
For example, Hall County, also in the Panhandle, and Sutton
County, in West Texas, had rates of nearly four DWI arrests
of young drivers for every 100 resident youths.
Roy Hale, of the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, said the
generally small statewide rate doesn't mean Texas does not
have a youth-DWI problem. And the higher rates in rural
Texas don't mean there are no problems elsewhere, he said.
``It understates the problem,'' he said of the arrests data.
``It is an indicator of the problem.''
Hale said the ``opportunity'' for getting caught driving
while intoxicated plays a big role in the number of such
arrests. Residents in rural areas, he said, have to drive
farther to get from their homes to bars, liquor stores and
other sources of alcoholic beverages. Urban residents
generally have more access to alcohol and don't have as many
miles to travel, Hale said.
``The opportunity of any driver encountering a trooper is
small,'' he said. ``There are a lot of miles in Texas.''
Candice Wendall of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug
Abuse said young people in rural counties have fewer
opportunities for legal entertainment, a factor that could
contribute to the arrest records. But she said she doubts
rural Texans drink more than their urban counterparts.
``Another thing is that rural law enforcement might have
more time to look for this,'' she said. ``You're looking at
the arrests, not incidents of drinking and driving.''
TCADA's Dr. Robert Spence said a 1994 survey of high school
students showed that seniors in urban areas of the state
were slightly less likely to drive under the influence as
their counterparts in other parts of the state.
Rebecca Cerliano, a teacher at Jefferson High School in
Marion County, near the Texas-Arkansas-Lousiana border, said
having U.S. 59 in the middle of the county probably adds to
the number of drivers, and potentially drunken drivers,
But the lack of alternative entertainment options does play
into drinking by young people in rural areas, she said.
``There's no skating rink. There's no movie theater,'' Ms.
Cerliano said. ``If you're not involved in activities,
there's practically nothing to do.''
Marion County had a youth-DWI rate of just more than three
DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said while all DWI arrests are
troubling, young people with the least amount of driving
experience present particular problems.
``To us, any number is too big,'' she said. ``Whether the
person is 16 or 66, if you're drinking you should not be
Autopsy ordered in death of Pecos man
Pecos Police are awaiting autopsy results before releasing
the cause of death of a Pecos man, after officers were
dispatched to a home located at 1120 S. Cherry St., early
Saturday morning in reference to an unattended death.
Officers were called the scene at 4:18 a.m. Saturday
morning, and an ambulance was later called for Alvaro Abila,
who was transported to Reeves County Hospital.
Abila, 42, was pronounced dead at the hospital by Precinct 2
Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh, who ordered the autopsy be
performed. A report will not be available until a couple of
weeks, police said.
District court jury picked for Pando theft trial
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
Jurors were selected this morning in the theft trial of
Anival Pando, 23, who is charged with theft of a firearm
from Abel Natividad.
Brian Chavez represents Pando on the charge, which is
prosecuted by District Attorney Randy Reynolds.
District Judge Bob Parks is presiding.
Pando has three indictments for theft arising from the same
incident in which several firearms allegedly were taken from
Natividad July 24, 1997.
Meanwhile, three defendants indicted in El Paso federal
court on marijuana possession charges will be tried in the
Indictments transferred to the Pecos clerk's office include
Adrian David Aranda, Rafael Arras and Jose Geraro
Mendoza-Gonzalez. All are charged with possession with
intent to distribute marijuana. Mendoza and Arras were
arrested May 8. Aranda was arrested May 11.
No information is available on their ages and addresses.
Alvaro Abila, 42, died Saturday, May 23, 1998, at Reeves
A rosary was held at 8:30 p.m., Monday at 1117 S. Cherry.
Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m., Tuesday, at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial
will be in Barstow Cemetery.
He was born May 8, 1956, was a lifelong Pecos resident, a
roughneck in the oilfield business and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Sofia Abila of Pecos; one son,
Alvaro Abila, Jr. of Pecos; two daughters, Shirley and
Cassandra Abila of Pecos; his mother, Magdalena Abila of
Pecos; his grandmother, Shona Abila of Barstow; four
brothers, Robert Abila of Pecos, Ramon Mata, Jr. of Pecos,
Jackie Hernandez of Pecos, Ruben Hernandez of Midland; six
sisters, Lucy Ortiz, Mary Gallego, Ana Moody and Lupe Abila
of Pecos, Elauteria Sandoval of Odessa, Mary Jane Lyles of
Midland and one grandchild.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Manuel Gomez Torres, 87, died Thursday, May 21, 1998 at the
Pecos Nursing Home.
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Harkey Funeral
Home Chapel with Joe Vasquez officiating. Burial will be in
Monahans Memorial Cemetery.
He was born Dec. 12, 1910, in Candelaria, Tx., was retired
from Texas Railroad Commission and was a member of the
Church of Christ.
Survivors include his wife, Filomena Torres of Odessa; two
sons, Frank Torres of Alice, Manuel Torres, Jr. of Austin;
eight daughters, Nancy Hernandez of Pecos, Lazara Walker,
Ramona Esparza and Rosa Vianes of Odessa, Irene Dodson and
Susie Bernlard of Midland, Manuela Guerrero of Austin, Eva
Cavezuela of Carlsbad, N.M.; 62 grandchildren and 109
Harkey Funeral Home of Monahans is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 99. Low this morning 66. Forecast for tonight:
Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms,
some possibly severe. Low in the mid 60s. Southeast wind
5-15 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of
afternoon thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. South to
southeast wind 5 15 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent.
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