Wednesday, June 10, 1998
Council gives up meteoriteBy CHRIS NEWTON
Associated Press Writer MONAHANS, Texas (AP) - The city council agrees: It's finders, keepers.
Seven boys who laid claim to a meteorite that crashed near where they played basketball won their fight Tuesday, when the Monahans City Council voted unanimously to let them keep it.
The mayor and city manager of this West Texas city had said the space rock landed on city property and thus belonged to them.
But council members said before their 4-0 vote that it would be heartless not to recognize the boys' right to the meteor.
There was also worry about a public relations nightmare if city officials seized the object.
``In my opinion we were looking at the expenditure of public funds to fight a lawsuit and the crucifixion of the city by the media had we not given the rock back,'' said councilman Curtis Howard. ``I did not see how that would have been in the best interest of the city.''
Alvaro Lyles, the 11-year-old near whose front yard the rock fell, said the decision was fair. Scientists have already offered thousands of dollars for the rock.
``I'm very excited. We won and now it's ours,'' Alvaro said as the boys celebrated their victory at his home. ``It's cool that they didn't try to trick us out of what was ours.''
Before announcing their decision, council members blasted Steve Arnold, a meteorite broker based in Tulsa, Okla., for threatening that the boys would sue if they were not given the rock.
Arnold, who will receive a percentage of any money gained by selling the object, said he was just helping the family secure what was rightfully theirs.
``We could have won the rock in court, but then we would have had to share any money with the attorney,'' Arnold said. ``I think the city knew that they didn't want to be seen as a council that would have taken seven kids to court over a rock they found. That would not be a good way to get re-elected.''
The dispute began in March, after firefighters took the soccer ball-sized meteor from the front of the Lyles' home so it could be studied. They promised it would be returned as long as NASA determined it was not radioactive.
Days later, the Lyles family telephone began ringing off the hook as university science departments offered to buy the meteorite, with bids reaching as high as $31,000.
But when the family asked the city to return it, the mayor sent a letter politely declining. The meteorite, he wrote, was city property.
Neither the mayor or city manager could be reached for comment by The Associated Press.
Howard said the rock will be taken from a city vault and given to the boys.
Orlando Lyles, Alvaro's father, said the rock will be sold and the money kept for the boys' educations.
Lyles added, to wild shouts and cheers in the background, that there's also a party in the works.
``First we're all going to Little League practice, then we're going to celebrate our victory over the politicians,'' he said.
Economic development group eyes sales tax
By MAC McKINNON
The Pecos Economic Development Corporation is exploring the
possibility of having local residents vote on a referendum
to use part of the current sales tax money to help finance
Since the local sales tax is at its maximum, the money would
Local entities - city, county and hospital - are now
The sales tax issue was among a number of items up for
It was noted that several area cities are now using sales
Also discussed was the possibility that the state
Also on the agenda Tuesday was approval of a budget in the
Ward gave a brief report on what he has been doing and the
Short and long term goals of PEDC were discussed along with
Ward noted he has an interest in baseball and said he will
A happy ending is a new beginning
By GREG HARMAN
Jimmy Ortega was the first one to notice the frail body
clinging to the underside of one of the Black-capped
Capuchin monkeys at Maxey Park Zoo several weeks ago.
He informed his boss, Park and Zoo Director Armando Gil,
with the declaration, "I'm going to have to get a new pair
of sneakers. I'm a daddy again."
It was an event no one had expected. Up until the actual
Just one week previous Gil had been in contact with a monkey
"I said, `Yes, sir. I'm positive.'" said Gil. "`It's been
The response on the other end of the phone was, "If I were
Gil said that it is particularly hard to determine the
A second opinion was made unnecessary by the surprise birth.
The mother of the new addition was originally named "Andy"
The monkeys are fed a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
To ward away pesky flies and mosquitoes the pair will chew
A wide variety of Capuchin monkeys inhabit southern and
The baby monkey will probably begin to explore its
Ortega said the zoo plans to keep the trio together in their
The event follows the shooting death of the last male
Chamber discusses summer events
By GREG HARMAN
Board of Directors of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce met
yesterday afternoon at the Pecos Senior Center to share a
meal, discuss recent activities, hear committee reports, and
prepare for the upcoming Night in Old Pecos and the West of
the Pecos Rodeo.
President Richard Crider opened the meeting by reminding
"We have decided not to go ahead with any more since it's
Ideas are still being sought, Crider continued, for any
Executive Director Tom Rivera announced, "We are getting a
Rivera reminded the board that filmmakers from Germany and
Suan Cross of the Women's Division of the Chamber announced
Eight Golden Girl floats will enter the rodeo parade and one
Kevin Duke, head of the tourism committee, informed the
"This could be a good summer for us," said Duke. "Our T.V.
Rivera announced that this year's rodeo banners have arrived
Someone will be available for anyone who needs help
Also, the director said, Night In Old Pecos has received
There will be a Western Shoot-out this year, complete with
The group concluded its meeting by viewing a introductory
School board meets tomorrow
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members will have a busy
evening scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, June 11.
The group will meet at the board room, 1304 S. Park, to
Under new business, the group will meet behind closed doors
In open session they will discuss restructuring and discuss
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love had stated
TAAS results will be reported and lunch and breakfast prices
The board will discuss and approve 1997-98 budget
Under old business the board will discuss/approve peace
Under miscellaneous items the board will set the time for
Pecos Housing group to discuss bids
Board members of the Pecos Housing Authority will discuss
and open bids to purchase ten new refrigerators for the
apartments at their regular meeting scheduled for 5 p.m.,
Thursday, June 11 at the administration office, 600
Members will discuss a resolution for the termination of
Other items on the PHA agenda include monthly income and
In the Farm Labor Housing portion of the meeting the group
Other items to be discussed include monthly financial
Home health services get certification
After a year wait, Reeves County Hospital's Home Health
Services has received official certification to practice as
a licensed home health agency.
Texas Department of Health inspectors surveyed the agency
The hospital missed its first survey date when a moratorium
The moratorium was lifted in mid-January with new guidelines
Another delay for the agency came when the HCFA failed to
According to Tojia Criss, director of Home Health Services,
There was still a major web of politics to be dealt with."
"It's been a real long process," continued Criss. "It was
But the waiting is over. Reeves County Hospital's Home
The chance of rain will be decreasing across Texas on
Thursday. The high in Pecos yesterday was 101 degrees, the
low was 78.Some strong thunderstorms moved across western
areas of North Texas Tuesday night. There is a chance of
showers and thunderstorms in West Texas through tonight. It
will be mostly cloudy tonight with a partial clearing and a
decreasing chance of rain on Thursday. Lows tonight will be
in the 60s and 70s in West Texas, the 70s in North Texas and
in the 70s and 80s in South Texas. Highs Thursday will be in
the 80s and 90s over West Texas, ranging upward to near 105.
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