Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 11, 1998
City Council approves Anchor abatement
By GREG HARMAN
The City Council of Pecos City approved this morning a
one-year extension for Anchor West's tax abatement and voted
to retain the services of Midland consultant John M. Wojtkun
for assistance in construction of a city enterprise zone.
Anchor, which missed its filing deadline this year because
of a clerical error, must gain the approval of the other
taxing entities to extend its tax abatement to 2001.
"Basically we are giving them an extra year to make up for
this year," said City Attorney Scott W. Johnson.
John M. Wojtkun, who will be paid by Anchor West and the
City of Pecos, has been hired to perform the necessary
research to draw the boundaries and draft proposal that
would ultimately secure an enterprise zone designation for
Wojtkun explained to the council what areas were being
considered. He suggested enclosing most of the area from
Country Club Road to U.S. Highway 285, and expanding from
there to include part of Highway 17, an area near Reeves
County Hospital and south of the Municipal Airport.
Overall, Wojtkun is proposing a total area of twenty square
miles, or three and a half times larger than the previous
designation which centered mainly along Interstate 20.
The next step, he said, will be a public hearing in July to
decide what incentives would be offered and where exactly to
draw the boundary line. Wojtkun hoped to have the proposal
submitted to the Texas Department of Economic Development by
the end of July so it could be in place by next year.
"With a full-time economic development director in Reeves
County, I suspect that more people will be looking at the
community and you might as well have it all in place,"
Wojtkun said of the industrial park and enterprise zone.
Tom Rivera, executive director of the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce, presented the council with a request to close
several streets in preparation for Fiesta Night in Old Pecos
June 27, including Second Street, between Cedar and Oak
streets, Oak Street from First Street to Pecos Furniture,
Second Street from Oak Street to the alley of Vasquez
Furniture, and First Street between the West of the Pecos
Museum and the parking area.
"We are extending further south this year," said Rivera,
"and hopefully it will get bigger and we'll take it all the
way to Third Street."
The council approve the street closure after Rivera said he
had approval from all the businesses affected and Police
Chief Clay McKinney said he had no objection to the closure.
The city entered into a three year contract with Frank
Spencer for T.V. inspection and evaluation of city sewer
The contract has been changed from the initial proposal in
that city employees will be utilized to cut down on overall
costs and additional work by Spencer must be approved by the
council in advance.
City Water Superintendent Octavio Garcia assured the council
that city manpower will be made available for the project.
The contract is for $59,000 to be paid out over three years.
Still wrestling the Texas Water Development Board for grant
money to replace, repair and extend the city's water
infrastructure, the city council was able to secure an
extension to their facility plan - spotlighting further
reasons the city is an acceptable candidate for assistance
from the TWDB.
The new deadline for the report is August 15. As Mayor Dot
Stafford said after the meeting, "There is still a chance."
The city has received one other extension to the original
January 31 deadline.
In other action this morning the council agreed to transfer
$25,000 to the employee health fund to cover health
insurance needs; agreed to enter into contract with the
Dominguez family for leasing of the miniature golf course
for four months; appointed Councilmen Johnny Terrazas and
Randy Graham to an interlocal board for community recreation
and wellness programs; and granted City Secretary Geneva
Martinez a $0.62 per hour raise.
Council votes to test drive new times
By GREG HARMAN
Experimental meeting times are on the way for the Pecos City
Council in the month of August. The suggestion of changing
meeting times from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. was brought before
the council by Councilman Danny Rodriguez. After much
discussion, with most council members and departmental heads
voicing a preference for the a.m. schedule, Councilman Randy
Graham proposed a compromise: a one month experiment. The
council voted to change its August schedule, meeting at 5
p.m. on August 13 and at 7 a.m. on August 27.
"At the end of a full workday most of us are mentally
exhausted and when we have to make decisions that affect the
city . . . we don't always make wise decisions," said Mayor
City Finance Director Steve McCormick suggested meeting at 7
a.m. instead of 7:30, and found support for the idea with
City Manager Kenneth Neal, who advocated the mental clarity
of the morning over afternoon meetings.
The council will meet at these revised times in August only.
They will discuss a permanent transition after the
Little rainfall hits area
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
And the rains came!
Not much, but it's a start. The McElroy Ranch west of
Balmorhea got .20 inch, the year-to-date total for Pecos
after Wednesday's .05 inch was added in.
Jody McElroy said the rain was welcome on the ranch, where
it has been "very dry," and cattle have been fed cake and
hay for several months.
Mecca Kenney said their "D" Ranch in Culberson County near
the New Mexico line got blowing dust and a misting rain,
about like that in Pecos.
"It is real, real dry in West Texas," she said. "We have had
to feed heavy, cake and hay. We usually don't have to feed
hay, but there's no green. It is pretty desperate."
Kenney said everyone is having to feed hay. "It is one of
the worst times I have ever seen. In the mountains, we
usually get more winter moisture, but it never happened this
A December snow is the last real moisture that fell on the
ranch this winter, Kenney said.
"In January and February when rain was forecast, it went
around us into New Mexico and the Panhandle of Texas," she
said. "Alpine and Fort Davis look about like us. We are
hoping every day."
Hope is about all the ranchers have, as rains continue to
elude this part of the country.
The Moore ranches west of Toyah "got very little" on a small
portion of each ranch, said Mrs. John Moore this morning.
"John is out there now ehecking on it. It didn't cover much
territory. We are still hoping and praying. We have been
feeding for a long time."
Cattle have water to drink because the Moores pump from
wells to fill the tanks.
Charlie White said the storm threw a lot of dirt around on
the Anderson Ranch, in northern Ward and southern Winkler
"At least it washed the grass off," said Ellen Weinacht, who
with her husband Don ranches southeast of Balmorhea. "The
wind blew and it cooled things off.
"It was not enough to help, but it made us feel a little bit
better because of the chance to have some more," Weinacht
Top Cowboys will be in Pecos for 1998
By ROSIE FLORES
Top cowboys will again be riding into Pecos for the 1998
West of the Pecos Rodeo.
The books for entering the Pecos rodeo closed yesterday at
the PRCA office in Colorado Springs and the committee is
very excited about the 708 entries, according to rodeo
committee president Ray Owen.
In the barrel race, 63 entries have been received with 100
steer ropers, 58 team roping, 102 entries in steer
wrestling, 55 bareback riders, 68 entries in saddle bronc,
150 bull riders and 112 entries in calf roping.
Top cowboys from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil
and Australia will be competing for more than $200,000 in
"The purse is made up of entry fees and includes the purse
that is put up by the rodeo committee," said Owen.
Again local events of wild cow milking and the wild mare
race will please the rodeo crowds.
Kids Boot Scramble will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday, during rodeo week.
For the first time the committee is having Open Team Roping,
which will take place on Saturday, July 4.
The Senior Steer Roping, an always popular event will be
held on Tuesday, June 30 and the top six men will come back
Wednesday night during the performance.
On Tuesday night, Slack Bull Riding night, tickets will be
at a greatly reduced price. "We're offering this so that
everyone can see at least one performance of the rodeo,"
"This way it gives everyone a chance to come out to the
rodeo," he said.
Tickets for the rodeo are now on sale at the Chamber of
Commerce office and can be purchased by calling,
915-445-4442 or 1-800-588-BULL.
Tickets for the big dance on Saturday night, featuring
hometown boys Ricochet, are now at a reduced price of $15
and will be $18 at the door.
Ticket sales are going great and everyone is encouraged to
purchase their tickets early for best seats.
"There are still some box seats left and will be sold on a
first-come first-serve basis," said Owen.
Don't say cantaloupe
CLAUDE W. PORTER
Editor's Note: The following article is the first in a
series of three that will be publised during the next few
weeks on the local onion and canatloupe crop. The series is
written by a Pecos newcomer, Claude Porter.
When the super market cow "uddered" the promotional phrase,
"Um-ummm, Good!", she could have been standing next to a
display of aromatic, sweet, and succulent Pecos cantaloupes.
Pecos cantaloupes have been in the market place for several
decades. Within the last 40 years, their reputation for
quality, taste and availability has transported them to ever
broadening markets in the United States.
The unique, sweet taste of the Pecos cantaloupes is actually
derived from the alkaline soil and the desert climate,
combined with the bright sun. It is nature doing its thing
in this particular part of the world that it does not do
exactly the same in other places.
While many produce items of renown are trade marked and can
only be marketed by authorized producers, not so with Pecos
cantaloupes. The only requirement for marketing Pecos
cantaloupes is that they be grown at Pecos. However,
PecoSweet is a trade marked marketing label used by Pecos
Cantaloupe Shed, Inc.
Cantaloupes are grown at Pecos in small plots by private
individuals, and commercially on larger, irrigated farms.
One sizable cantaloupe farming operation is located near the
small Pecos County community of Coyanosa. Owned by Randy
Taylor, the farm includes about 1,300 acres of irrigated
cantaloupes. Taylor is a 10-year veteran of cantaloupe
The Taylor cantaloupe farming operation focues on three main
varieties of melons - the Hymark, the Mission, and the
Caravelle. The crops are planted in the early April to early
May time frame. Normally, harvest begins about the first of
July. However, harvest will probably begin about a week
earlier this year because of the extremely high temperatures
which make the melons ripen quicker.
Taylor states that, "One of the real advantages of growing
cantaloupes in this area is the marginal effect of insects
and disease on the crop. The use of chemicals is very
minimal. Cantaloupes like it hot and dry, and insects and
According to Taylor, it will take about six waterings this
year where flood irrigation is used. "On cantaloupes we use
mostly drip irrigation and we water continuously," says
Drip irrigation requires the installation of a special
perforated plastic tubing in the seed bed through which
water is pumped to irrigate the growing crop. Plastic
sheeting is used to cover the seed beds to reduce
evaporation, and thus, conserve water. Also, the vines grow
on top of the sheeting. This allows the farmer to deliver a
clean melon to the consumer because the fruit never touches
the ground, and uniform sized melons are harvested.
As with most commercial crops, raising cantaloupes requires
a balanced fertilizer program. The Taylors apply pre-plant
fertilizer to the soil, follow up with side-dress
fertilizer, and add a foliar feed to the growing vines.
Nitrogen and potash are the main ingredients.
In peak season, as many as 500 people are employed in the
Taylor farming operation. Their operation includes not only
cantaloupes, but also, about 1,300 acres of onions, 1,100
acres of cotton, and 250 acres of bell peppers. Over $3
million is pumped into the local economy annually in payroll
The Taylor farming operation is a family affair. While
Taylor oversees the daily field operations, his wife, Mary,
takes care of the office. Their son, Clay, operates the
produce shed. The Taylors also have two daughters, Kella, a
student at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Randa,
who is a 1998 graduate of Pecos High School and plans to
attend Angelo State University in San Angelo this fall.
Randa also handles the "Gift Pack" cantaloupe sales in
Thomas Arthur Longman, 63, of Alpine, died Tuesday, June 9,
1998 at his residence after a lengthy illness.
Rosary services are at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 11, at Geeslin
Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 12, at Our
Lady of Peace Catholic Church with burial in Elm Grove
He was born and raised in Henry, Ill., graduated from
Michigan State University and moved to Alpine in 1976 where
he began working for the City of Alpine and became the city
manager of Alpine in 1979. He was also the owner of Tom's
Triangle Convenience Store since January 1991.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Longman of Alpine; three
daugthers, Theresa Roberts of Allen, Tx., Karen Wong of
Dallas and Laurie Longman of Austin; one sister, Marjorie
Oswald of Cedarburg, Wisc.; eight grandchildren and several
nieces and nephews.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be
made to the American Legion, Terlingua EMS, or their
Francisco Nunez, 81, died Tuesday, June 9, 1998 at Veterans
Hospital in Big Spring.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11, at
the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial will be
in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born Jan. 29, 1917, in Redford, Tx., was a U.S. Army
Veteran, a lifelong Pecos resident, retired and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Nora Nunez of Pecos; two sons,
Cris and Joe Nunez of Midland; five grandchildren and five
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Strong thunderstorms roared across much of Texas
during the night and early today and Pecos got the tail end
of the storm. Some of the storms had winds gusting to 65
mph. Wind damage was reported at several locations.
Forecasters say most of the state will get some more showers
and thunderstorms tonight and Friday. In Pecos .05 of an
inch was recored, bringing the year-to-date moisture up to
.2 inches. The high yesterday was 95 degrees and the low was
57.There is a slight chance of some thunderstorms over
eastern areas of West Texas tonight and across the entire
area on Friday. It will be partly cloudy tonight across
North Texas with a chance of thunderstorms. There is a
slight chance of continued thunderstorms on Friday in
western areas of North Texas. Lows tonight will be in the
60s and 70s in West Texas. Highs Friday will be in the 80s
and 90s across West TexasShowers and thunderstorms continued
early today across much of North Texas and Central Texas.
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