Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, June 3, 1998
Ricochet for 4th of July performance
By ROSIE FLORES
Two hometown boys who have hit it big in Nashville will be
returning to their roots for a performance this year's West
of the Pecos Rodeo dance.
Ricochet, a popular country-western band that has won
numerous awards will be performing Saturday night, July 4,
at the Reeves County Civic Center, located next to the Buck
Jackson Rodeo Arena.
"The boys are looking forward to coming home," said West of
the Pecos Rodeo president Ray Owen.
Sponsors for the group are the West of the Pecos Rodeo
Committee and NewsWest 9, and Owen said rodeo officials are
anticipating a very large crowd from the surrounding area.
Ricochet won an award for best new country and western group
at the 1997 Grammy Awards, and band members Jeff and Junior
Bryant are former Pecosites and still have family members
who reside here.
The rodeo committee is also very excited about Tommy Shane
Steiner, grandson of stock producer Johnny Steiner, who will
perform at the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night dances.
The dances are held nightly after each rodeo performance.
Tommy Shane Steiner and his band are an upcoming group from
the Austin area and have been booked to play at other top
rodeo dances in Texas.
He is a 22-year-old Texas Cowboy, son of working cattle
ranchers and rodeo professionals Bobby Steiner, a World
Champion Bull Rider, and Joleen Steiner, a two-time National
Champion Barrel Racing Qualifier.
Tickets for all the rodeo performances and the dances
following the performances are on sale now at the Pecos
Chamber of Commerce Office, 111 S. Cedar. Tickets can also
be purchased by credit card.
Tickets for the Ricochet dance only will be $15, apiece, in
advance and $18 at the door.
"We encourage people to purchase their tickets early for
best seats," said Owen.
There are a limited amount of box seats for the rodeo events
which will be sold on a first come, first serve basis,
according to Owen.
Geologist defends Sierra Blanca dump site
By GREG HARMAN
The Democratic Party's gubernatorial candidate and a
geologist employed by the State of Texas are at odds on the
safety of the proposed low-level nuclear waste dump site
near Sierra Blanca.
Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, the Democratic nominee
for governor in this November's general election, voiced his
opposition to the Sierra Blanca site during a visit to far
West Texas on May 27. Mauro spoke in both Sierra Blanca and
El Paso in support of sustainable energy, indigenous
peoples' rights and against the proposed low-level nuclear
dump site in Hudspeth County, 120 miles southwest of Pecos.
Accusing Gov. George W. Bush of continually misrepresenting
the nature of the waste slated to be routed to the site from
Maine, Vermont and Texas, if final approval is granted,
Mauro vowed to oppose the dump if he becomes governor.
"Governor Bush's vision of the border region is to turn this
great natural resource into a national dumping ground for
radioactive waste," Mauro told the El Paso Times.
But one of the principal authors of a report on the area's
natural makeup, who considers the Hudspeth County location
"one of the best in the U.S. in terms on hydrological and
geological activity," took issue Mauro's statements about
the dangers posed by the proposed site.
"As a member of the team of University of Texas
hydrogeologists who conducted an exhaustive investigation of
the ground-water flow systems, I take exception with Mauro's
characterization of the site as `not reasonable,'" said Dr.
Bruce Darling, who was employed by the Bureau of Economic
Geology to study the area for three years.
Darling said his team surveyed a 1,600-square-mile area
around the proposed dump location and he drafted a
dissertation on the hydrogeology of the Eagle Flat and Red
Light basins. He said reports that the waste could leak into
the Rio Grande or contaminate local water supplies were not
Darling also took issue with the way the media has handled
"In the four years since our initial report was submitted to
the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority, Garry
Mauro and other opponents of the site have been given free
rein by the media to claim without justification that the
site is not suitable for the disposal of low-level
radioactive waste. Not once, however, in the last four years
have members of the investigative team been contacted for
our reaction to erroneous comments such as those made by Mr.
But opponents of the site continue to slam it for violations
of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's
According to officials at the Radioactive Waste Management
Associates Inc., (RWMA), which opposes the site, "Texas
regulations require that `areas shall be avoided where
tectonic processes such as faulting, folding, seismic
activity, or volcanism may occur with such frequency and
extent to significantly affect the ability of the disposal
site to meet performance objectives . . . Areas shall be
avoided where surface geologic processes such as mass
wasting, erosion, slumping, landsliding, or weathering
RWMA employee Marvin Reznikoff, a doctor of physics who has
been studying waste disposal issues for 24 years, said that
no one is debating whether water flows to the Rio Grande
from Hudspeth County, but the risk to the area inhabitants
through possible overflow of Grayton Lake and drainage
through fissures beneath the proposed site.
"The Authority (Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal
Authority) claims it's all dry waste, but this is not true,"
said Reznikoff. "The percentage of standing water is minimal
- one-half percent - but the ion-exchange resins are 50
The concern of RWMA is that continuous tremors - there have
been over 65 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater within
200 miles of the site since 1923 - will allow water to leak
into the facility, allowing radioactive materials to escape
through fissures beneath the site.
"The site, the most seismically-active site in Texas, was
chosen purely for political reasons," said Reznikoff.
A tri-state compact agreement for the disposal of
radioactive waste between Texas, Maine and Vermont was
passed by the House of Representative in October of 1997 and
by the Senate on April 1, 1998. The bill authorizing the
site is currently in conference committee, awaiting a final
vote in Congress.
The compact would bring $50 million, $25 million from both
Maine and Vermont, to Texas for the construction of the site.
The state of Texas would then assume sole responsibility for
the maintenance of the site.
After it is approved by the state, the Hudspeth County
location would become the home of dismantled nuclear power
plant material and low-level nuclear waste from industrial
and medical facilities from all three states. The site is
designed to receive 45,000 to 50,000 cubic feet of waste
annually over its 30-year lifespan.
"Issues such as the disposal of low-level radioactive waste
require a dispassionate presentation of facts to help the
public come to terms with the nature of radioactivity, the
necessity of establishing disposal sites, the methods of
investigation required to assess the suitability of proposed
disposal areas, and the bases for identifying the most
suitable locations," Darling said.
However dump opponents, such as the RWMA and the Sierra
Blanca Legal Defense Fund, feel that many legitimate
questions over the feasibility of the site were not able to
be raised during the hearings process. These concerns must
now be battled out in the media as the low level waste
disposal authority and TNRCC hammer out the fine details.
The TNRCC Commissioners are scheduled to make their ruling
on the site public by the end of July. A final decision will
be made after the TNRCC's ruling is reviewed by the State
Office of Administrative Hearings.
State's heat wave continues
From Staff and Wire Reports
Temperatures in the Pecos Valley were again expected to
hover near 110 degrees today, at the same time that
residents in part of Reeves County have been told to limit
their water usage over the next several days.
Pecos' temperature hit 109 degrees for the second day in a
row Tuesday. That would normally mean more water usage in
the area, but Madera Valley Water customers have had
restrictions placed on their watering due to mechanical
"We're just telling all of our customers to use their water
for household purposes only," said manager of Madera Valley
Braulia Natividad. She said customers should restrain from
watering their lawns during the day and using water
frivolously at this time.
"The reason for this is that we had an electrical problem at
the wells this past weekend and it's taking a while to catch
up," said Natividad.
Residents in the Lindsey Addition are being asked to use
water carefully and those in the McIntyre area will also be
advised to do so.
"Both wells are a little low at this time and we hope to
catch up soon, but this is just the beginning of the summer
and we need to be careful," said Natividad.
High temperatures are expected to remain in triple digits
through Friday, and areas across the state are coping the
In West Texas, Childress and Wink hit 106 degrees, Midland
was 105, and Lubbock reached 104 by mid-afternoon.
Temperatures in Dallas hit 100 on Tuesday, and authorities
there confirmed the heat wave's first fatality, a bicyclist
found dead at a state park. An autopsy by the Dallas County
medical examiner's office showed that Jason Bradley
Stogsdill, 23, of Arlington, died Monday of hyperthermia
combined with clogged arteries.
Stogsdill's father, Bill Stogsdill, said his son, a student
at the University of Texas at Arlington, loved to ride and
would spend hours on his bike.
``I'd come out to visit him and he'd have been riding all
morning,'' he said. ``It wasn't unusual for him to ride half
a day. He'd drive his van out there and take his bike out
and go from there.''
Most of Texas had temperatures in the triple digits for the
third or fourth consecutive day, said Steve Fano, a
meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort
Fano called these early-June temperatures uncommon but not
Forecasters are pinning their hopes for weekend relief on a
storm system moving in from the West Coast.
The cool-down could arrive just as some Texans are starting
to like the extreme heat.
``We're used to it,'' said Lynn Stewart, a Port Isabel
retiree. She sat on a park bench in the shade of the tree
watching her poodles, Micki and Gigi. ``I like the heat.''
City's patched pool prepares to open
Get ready! The Maxey Park Municipal Pool, closed for the
first week and a half of summer is scheduled to open
Thursday afternoon, according to Parks and Zoo Director
Gil said the pool will be open from 2 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.,
after temporary repairs were made to its fiberglass bottom.
City officials were unsure of the pool's operation this
year, when they received a repair quote from an Odessa pool
company of $85,000 to completely replace the pool's
fiberglass liner. Instead, the Parks Department was able to
use the same repair techniques used on the fiberglass bodies
of Corvettes, hiring workers from Montano's Body Shop to
patch and round out the cracks on the pool's floor.
Gil told Town of Pecos City Council members last Thursday
that the temporary repairs cost the city just $385. Parks
Department employees were busy over the past several days
filling the pool, to see if the patch job would stand up to
the weight of the water.
For admission prices, or to reserve the pool for a private
party, call Nettie Rodriguez at 447-9138 between 1 and 7 p.m.
The Municipal pool is one of three outdoor pools around
Pecos open this summer. The Northside pool at Ash and `B'
streets has been handling swimmers unable to use the one in
Maxey Park, while the Barstow City pool has also opened for
Juries find three guilty in pot trials
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
Three defendants have been convicted this week in federal
court of importing and possessing large quantities of
marijuana. A fourth is on trial today before Fifth Circuit
Judge Emilio M. Garza of San Antonio.
Blasa Gonzalez, 29, of Chicago, Ill., is charged with
importing and possessing 64 pounds of marijuana on March 5
when she was arrested near Marfa by Border Patrol agents.
She claims she was doing a favor for a friend of her
brother-in-law when she picked up a 1989 Honda Accord near
Presidio to drive it back to Chicago.
Border Patrol agent David Baker testified this morning that
he and his partner stopped the Honda after it traveled
through Marfa because it was on a "lookout" list they had
for suspected drug dealers.
The car's owner, Jeremy San Legardo of Chicago, was also on
the lookout list, Baker said.
Gonzalez gave consent for a drug-sniffing dog to check the
car and for a search after the dog alerted to the presence
of contraband. They found a secret compartment underneath
the trunk, which was loaded with bundles of marijuana.
Defense attorney Mike Barclay said that Gonzalez did not
know about the secret compartment. She had checked the trunk
of the car for drugs after leaving the border area, because
she had become suspicious of the actions of the men who took
her to the car's location, Barclay said.
Prosecutor Fred Brigman said he expected to complete the
government's case this morning. Barclay said Gonzalez would
testify in her own defense.
In Tuesday's trial, an all-woman jury convicted Omar
Prieto-Trevizo, 33, of Pingree, Idaho, and Carlos
Sanchez-Dominguez, 25, of Chihuahua, Mex., of importing and
possessing 851.12 pounds of marijuana.
Their four-vehicle caravan was spotted by the pilot of a
Border Patrol airplane as they crossed the Rio Grande from
Mexico into the United States Nov. 26, 1997.
Efrain Soto-Palomar, 21, of Ojinaga, Mex., was found guilty
Monday of importing and possessing with intent to distribute
548 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 19. He was arrested near a
pickup loaded with marijuana by a crew of five men who
apparently waded across the Rio Grande to transport it to
A civil trial is scheduled for Thursday.
Parent company set to buy Alpine bank
The parent company of the First National Bank of Pecos has
announced the pending purchase of its third area bank this
The Davis Bank Group, headquartered in Midland, Texas, has
agreed to purchase the First National Bank in Alpine, the
Board of Directors of First Alpine, Inc., the Alpine bank's
parent company, announced on May 28.
The Davis Bank Group owns an affiliated group of banks
including The First National Bank of Pecos, The First
National Bank, in Kermit, Seminole National Bank and its
Denver City Bank branch, as well as an interest in First
National Bank of Fort Stockton.
David A. Moore, President and CEO of the First National Bank
in Alpine stated, "First National Bank in Alpine's
affiliation with other West Texas banks in The Davis Bank
Group provides a unique opportunity for our bank and its
customers. In today's banking environment, it is
increasingly difficult to remain wholly independent and
operate as a truly community bank. The Davis Bank Group
shares our independent banking philosophy and commitment to
community banking. We are excited about becoming a part of
their financial service group. Our customers will continue
to receive modern, quality financial products and will be
served by the same team of local bankers they have known for
J.L. Davis, Chairman of the Davis Bank Group stated, "We are
very pleased with the proposed transaction. The acquisition
of The First National Bank in Alpine will be a valuable
addition to your affiliated group of banks.
Mr. Keith Moore, Executive Vice President of Davis Bank
Group further states, "The bank and its management have an
excellent reputation in West Texas, and are well respected
throughout the Texas banking industry. we hope to bring
additional capabilities to the First National Bank in Alpine
will benefit the other banks in our group through exchange
of management expertise, expanded lending capabilities and
operational capabilities the bank has developed.
The First National Bank of Pecos was the first bank
purchased by the Davis Bank Group, in the mid-1980s. This
year, it has agreed to purchase both the First National Bank
in Kermit and the Norwest Bank branch in Crane along with
the First National Bank in Alpine.
With the addition of the First National Bank in Alpine, The
Davis Bank Group will represent banks with combined assets
of $280 million, deposits of $255 million and loans of $105
million. Davis Bank Group will have four chartered banks and
four branch banking locations from which its customers can
receive banking services.
If approved by First Alpine, Inc.'s shareholders an
regulatory agencies, the transaction should be finalized by
Marriages for May 1998, as reported by the Reeves County
John Delaney Jackson, Jr. and Cathy Jo Verstraete.
Arnulfo Gomez Vega and Elizabeth Ann Montoya.
Jorge Arturo Granado Hernandez and Sixta Lucia Garcia.
Amilcar S. Flores and Sylvia Ann Abila.
Justo Coria Rodriguez and Araseli S. Archuleta.
Christopher T. Rodriguez and Kristina Kaye Talamantes.
Sherman Bold Warrior and Beverly Sutton Grice.
Divorces for May 1998, as reported by the Reeves County
Janice Marie Dominguez and Nicaso Dominguez.
Beatrice Lopez Reyes and Ismael Chavez Reyes, Jr.
Martin Martinez and Maria Anchondo.
Dolores Villescas Baeza and Oscar Daniel Baeza.
High Tuesday 109. Low this morning 65. Forecast for today:
Record high temperature likely again this afternoon.
Tonight, fair. Low around 70. South wind 5-15 mph. Thursday,
mostly sunny. High around 102. Southwest wind 10-20 mph.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise