Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 16, 1998
Serviceman cleared of wrongdoing
From staff and wire reports
A serviceman who killed a teen-ager during a border drug
patrol has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Marine Corps.
A report released Monday concluded Cpl. Clemente Banuelos
was protecting a fellow Marine when he shot Esequiel
Hernandez Jr. last May in Redford, a rural Rio Grande
community downstream from Presidio.
According to the military, the 18-year-old Hernandez, who
was out herding his goats, fired at the Marines twice and
raised his .22-caliber rifle a third time when Banuelos shot
him once with an M-16.
Hernandez's family disputes the military's account.
The Presidio County grand jury declined to indict Banuelos
in the shooting. A federal grand jury in Pecos heard
testimony during three sessions, but prosecutors terminated
the investigation without presenting a proposed indictment
for a vote.
District Attorney Albert Valadez has obtained that grand
jury testimony to aid in further investigation.
An investigation by Joint Task Force 6, an agency that
coordinates anti-drug missions between the military and
civilian police, concluded the Marines acted within mission
The shooting led to the suspension of armed military patrols
on the border. Military officials say such operations may be
In the report, the Marines said, "We have determined that
the level of support and priority of effort that these
missions received from higher headquarters was, in some
instances, less than acceptable."
However, failure to make preparation for the border mission
a priority was not causal to the shooting, the 13,000-page
investigative report said.
Lt. Col Scott Campbell, a spokesman for the Marine Corps,
said the four-member patrol unit was validated as properly
trained. The report recommended no discipline against Cpl.
Banuelos and three other heavily-camoflauged Marines spotted
Hernandez carrying a rifle at about 6 p.m. Hernandez fired
two shots in the direction of the Marines and then began
walking in a manner that made the Marines believe he was
trying to outflank the, the report said.
While awaiting the arrival of the Border Patrol, the Marines
followed Hernandez for 20 minutes. When Hernandez aimed his
weapon at them again, Banuelos shot and killed the goat
Hernandez's family said the high-school sophomore would not
knowingly assault the heavily armed Marines with his .22
caliber rifle and either did not realize the Marines were
nearby or thought they were robbers.
"The Marine Corps investigation determined that the four
Marines were acting within the scope of their assigned
duties, and they complied with the...rules of engagement,
which include the inherent right of self-defense," the
Barstow school opened in 1892
Editor's Note: Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD trustees voted last
week to close the Barstow campus in a move to save money. In
view of that action, we felt a history of the Barstow
schools was in order
Barstow schools have changed from the one-room building to a
building which educated all students in that community.
Education of children in Barstow was a concern of the
settlers who moved there in the 1880's and early 1890's.
Private schools first met the need.
A small one room wooden building was apparently the first
public school and was followed in 1892 by a red sandstone
building constructed by the contractor who was building the
courthouse. This building was later enlarged and served as
the seat of education in Barstow until 1916 when a two story
brick building was erected. It became the high school and
the sandstone building was the elementary school.
In 1938 the Barstow Common School District became the
Barstow Independent School District and bonds were voted for
a new school plant. In October, 1939 the new building was
occupied and the old building became the Mexican schools.
On Dec. 1, 1945 the "new" school building was destroyed by
fire with the exception of the gymnasium. For the balance of
that year and the next year, school was moved into a new
building erected on the foundation of the burned building.
In 1954, the two story building was razed and replaced with
a four room elementary building. At this time the school was
fully integrated, there being no more Mexican school.
In 1958, the Texas and Pacific Railway donated the Barstow
depot to the school. It was moved to the school and
converted into a science department.
In 1960, a homemaking cottage was built and in 1965 a shop
building was constructed.
School enrollment continued to decline and in February, 1969
the community voted 185 for and two against consolidating
with Pecos Independent School District.
In September 1969 grades 7-12 began school in Pecos and
grades 1-6 remained in Barstow.
In 1996-1997, sixth grade students began being bussed into
Pecos, while kindergarten students always attended Pecos
School superintendents for Barstow:
February 1939-August 1940 G.C. LeCroy.
September 1940-August 1942 Clyde W. Jones.
September 1942-June 1944 Max H. Greenwood.
July 1944-October 1944 Neil Rasco.
November 1944-April 1946 E.J. Ely.
April 6, 1946-June 1969 C.W. Wright.
Sierra Blanca protected
After ten weeks of sitting stagnant, legislation concerning
the proposed compact agreement between Texas, Maine and
Vermont for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste in
Texas is finally moving again.
The Senate agreed by unanimous consent last night to name
its negotiators for a bi-cameral conference committee to
help hammer out a final version of the Texas Low-Level
Radioactive Disposal Contract, which has already passed both
House and Senate in slightly different forms. Without last
night's action the bill would have remained in legal limbo.
Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., a vocal opponent of the
proposed dump, was able to force adoption of language that
says the Senate negotiators should stick to their guns and
ensure that amendments designed to protect the town of
Sierra Blanca, Texas, remain in the final draft.
Although both the House and Senate approved amendments
limiting the waste to the compact's three members Texas,
Maine and Vermont and providing new access to courts for
residents of communities targeted for dumps, backers of the
dump indicated they would work to strip the two measures out
at the bargaining table.
For that reason, Wellstone held up the naming of Senate
negotiators for weeks. And he indicated Monday night that he
will fight to see the amendments remain in the final draft.
``Without those amendments, there should be no bill,''
Wellstone said in a Senate speech. ``Any attempt to strip
those amendments from the bill, which is what the nuclear
utilities would like conferees to do, would make a mockery
of the House and Senate votes to include the (amendments).''
In April, the Senate approved the compact, which would allow
Maine and Vermont to ship their waste to West Texas in
exchange for payments of $25 million apiece. House approval
came last year.
The dump, which Texas wants to build at a site 90 miles
southeast of El Paso, would house radioactive components
from dismantled nuclear power plants and industrial and
medical waste. The facility has been designed to take in
45,000 to 50,000 cubic feet of waste annually over its
projected 30-year lifespan.
Wellstone has thwarted consideration of the legislation for
the last few years over his concerns that such dumps
typically are built in areas where citizens are poor, have
little political clout or are home to minorities. Sierra
Blanca is an impoverished, largely-Hispanic community.
Texas officials insist the dump would be limited to the
three compact members. But critics note that the compact as
originally written gives the Texas Low-Level Radioactive
Waste Disposal Authority leeway to open the dump to
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who expressed fears that Texas
could become the ``pay toilet for the country,'' tacked on
the limiting language to the House bill and Wellstone did
the same in the Senate.
Compact proponents argue that any changes to the original
language, already ratified by the three states'
legislatures, would force a lengthy reratification process.
Opponents say reratification is unnecessary.
Pioneer family honored
By ROSIE FLORES
Our community is filled with pioneers who first traveled to
Pecos to settle in this far west Texas region by covered
wagon, filled with dreams and enthusiasm. And every year one
of these families is honored during the Fourth of July
This year, the Young Bell family will be honored during a
reception at 9:30 a.m., July 4, at the West of the Pecos
Young Bell Family has been chosen as the Reeves County
Pioneer Family and a family exhibit highlighting the family
is set up at the museum.
In a time when every day was a new adventure, Young Bell
spent most of his 90 years with cattle and horses. Various
authors have written about Young Bell, a very unforgettable
character. Young himself compiled a book, Seventy Years in
the Cow Business. His zest for life transcended to his
daughters, Jessie and Birdie, and their families.
James Young Bell was born in Rusk County, near Henderson on
Sept. 14, 1878, on the farm of his father, Jessie Walling
Bell, and mother, Laura Young Bell. John Chisholm Bell, his
only brother was eight years older. When Young was 12, his
family moved to Haskell where his father opened a saddle and
harness shop. One day after watching two of his cousins ride
and rope, Young decided he wanted to be a cowboy. It was
impossible to keep Young in school from then on. He began
doing day work on area ranches. Always wanting excitement he
went to work on cattle drives.
When Young was 18, he traveled 700 miles from Merkel to San
Simon, Ariz., to work on a ranch. When he arrived on the
ranch, he almost turned back because when he washed his
hands, his soap dish was a human skull. He worked on the
ranch for four years, with his next designation being the
San Simon Ranch at Carlsbad, N.M., where he stayed for a
From 1901-1905, Young worked for Sid Kyle at his ranch in
Loving County. Young acquired 400 head of cattle and 14
quarter hourses while working for Kyle for $30 a month. He
leased every other section for 12 miles down the river from
Kyle's fence. In 1909 he married Ollie Kincheloe, and Jessie
and Birdie were born in 1917 and 1918.
Young went to Mexico and purchased 700 steers and decided to
keep two to train as lead steers. That brings us to "Old
Spot." This lead steer was to work on the Bell ranch for the
next 17 years. Old Spot also helped several other ranchers
over the years. Old Spot crossed about 40,000 head of cattle
during his life at the ranch.
When Jessie and Birdie were of school age, the family rented
an apartment in Pecos. Young would come into town every few
weeks. In December of 1924, Ollie contracted pneumonia and
died. Faced with raising the girls alone, Young bought a
house in Pecos and hired a housekeeper.
In 1927, while attending a barbecue, Young was introduced to
Miss Helen Jackson. A short time later they married. That
same year during a dry spell, Young sold off his beloved
ranch, and for the first time in his life, he lived in town.
He then decided to go into the garage business. He built and
operated Bell Garage for 17 years. He became involved in
civic affairs and also had cattle on a land leased near
Pecos. He was busy and happy and never let a day go by
without having at least one good laugh. Having a good time
was part of Young Bell's life so he changed his birthday
from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16, Diez y Seis, so there would
always be a celebration on his birthday. Jessie and Birdie
enjoyed living in town with all the social activities that
kept them busy. They say they had a fairy tale life.
At the age of 70 Young built the Bell Motel, and operated it
for 17 years. Within the year, homes were built for Helen,
Jessie and Birdie on what is now Bell Acres. Jessie married
Henry Allen and had two daughters, Helen Carolyn (Lynn) and
Laura Bell. Birdie married Kenneth Slack and their children
are James Young, Kenneth Lester and Gail Ann. The children
enjoyed the freedom of riding horses, driving cars at an
early age, and having four places they could call home.
There were chickens, cows, pigs, horses, dogs and cats on
Bell Acres. They always felt as if they had two mothers
because either Jessie or Birdie were always around.
There was always a celebration on July 4, with the children
riding in the parade. Bell had his special seat at the rodeo
parking his car between the stands on the south side. Just
before Bell's 91st birthday he passed away.
In December the family was saddened by the sudden death of
Jessie, but keep her memory alive by laughing at her antics.
Today the descendants of Young Bell continue to be a
Tickets on sale today
Ten young ladies will be vying for the title of Golden Girl
of the Old West, while 11 little girls will be seeking the
title of Little Miss Cantaloupe at the combined pageant
scheduled for June 26.
Tickets go on sale today for the pageant which will take
place at 8 p.m., that Friday, at the Pecos High School
Tickets can be purchased at Security State Bank and the
First National Bank and will be sold at the door. Organizers
for the event urge everyone to purchase their tickets early
for the best seats.
Golden Girl nominees include Alva Alvarez, who is sponsored
by West of the Pecos Museum and Bill and Marina Weinacht;
Amy Armstrong sponsored by Pecos Valley Field Service; Myra
Fuentes sponsored by Pizza Hut; Linsey Hathorn sponsored by
Reeves County Sheriff's Posse, John Griffis Diesel Service
and Colt Chevrolet-Buick; Shaye Lara sponsored by Pecos
Emporium, Pecos Lion's Club and Beall's; Jennifer Martinez
sponsored by Martinez Funeral Home, Winkles Trucks, Inc. and
Farm Bureau Insurance and April Ryan sponsored by Engine
The girls will present a production number with music by
Ricochet and the song, "Daddy's Money."
Special entertainment will be provided by Mark Alvarez, with
Johnny Terrazas the Master of Ceremonies.
Little Miss Cantaloupe and sponsors are: AriAnna Skye
Alligood, A-1 Motors; Lyndsay Michelle Chowning, Classic
Cable; Sarah Elizabeth Cross, Cross TaeKwon Do; Alexa Nicole
Estrella, Javier and Maribel Estrella; Kiara Rae Gutierrez,
Nova Gutierrez; April Herrera, Sheriff Andy Gomez; Amber
Dawn Hull, First National Bank of Pecos; Andrielle Martinez,
Desiree Boutique; Allison Lea Mendoza, West Texas
Financial/Desert Rental; Amanda Nicole Renteria, Renteria
Farms and Anastazia Leann Winkles, Nadine Smith.
April sales in Reeves County were down
April sales were down in Reeves County from the same month
last year, State Comptroller John Sharp reports.
In mailing tax rebate checks to cities and special
districts, Sharp noted that Pecos' $61,186 check is down
8.32 percent from last year, while Toyah's receipts fell
Balmorhea showed a near 50 percent increase, jumping from
$321 to $476.
Year-to-date totals were up 7.54 percent for the county,
with Balmorhea again showing a 44.31 percent jump.
Sharp delivered $185.5 million in monthly sales tax payments
to 1,093 Texas cities and 118 counties, a 14.7 percent
increase over last year.
"The long and steady increase in consumer spending in Texas
continues as jobs and new businesses remain plentiful,"
Sharp said. "Year-to-date, rebates to cities and counties
are up 11 percent over last year."
To the west, El Paso's tax rebate of $3.3 million was up
12.7 percent, while Dallas to the east showed a 15.4 percent
SALES TAX REBATES LISTED BY COUNTY
June 1998 rebates (Collected on April sales)
(Source: Texas comptroller's office)
CITY RATE 1998 1997 CHANGE
Andrews 1.0% $54,340 $58,894 Dn 07.73%
Alpine 1.5% $47,078 $54,378 Dn 13.42%
Crane 1.5% $22,800 $24,597
Van Horn 1.5% $16,621 $17,573 Dn 4.27%
Odessa 1.250% $991,786 $749,606 Up 32.30%
Big Spring 2.0% $276,231 $264,588 Up 4.40%
Midland 1.0% $975,570 $940,760 Up 3.70%
Fort Stockton 1.5% $80,227 $76,465 Up 4.91%
Marfa 1.0% $6,207 $5,414 Up 14.65%
Presidio 2.0% $19,116 $13,759 Up 38.93%
Balmorhea 1.0% $476 $321 Up 48.42%
Pecos 1.5% $61,166 $66,717 Dn 8.32%
Toyah 1.0% $318 $438 Dn 27.26%
RCH Dist. 0.5% $27,372 $25,486 Up 7.48%
Monahans 2.0% $72,826 $50,167 Up 45.16%
Kermit 1.0% $26,152 $25,264 Up 3.51%
Wink 1.0% $1,183 $3,671 Dn 67.78%
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is
obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,
Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines
of either traffic citations, animal control violations or
other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed
as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.
Benjamin Morales, 20, was arrested at 7:40 p.m., on June 12,
at the Eddy Street car wash for failure to appear in court
after recieving an M.I.P. warrant. He was transported to
Reeves County Jail.
Pedro Perez Jr., 18, was arrested at 6:28 a.m., on June 14,
at the 700 block of Oleander Street for public intoxication
and resisting arrest.
Jesus Dominguez, 44, was arrested at midnight, on June 13,
at 724 Peach Street on a warrant for assault causing bodily
injury. He was transported to Reeves County Jail, posted
bond, and was released.
Leon Lee Vega, 18, was arrested at midnight, on June 13, at
818 Fourth Street, for several warrants which included two
counts of bond forfeiture for marijuana delivery and traffic
Francisco Rodriguez, 52, was arrested at 5:54 p.m., on June
15, for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to
Reeves County Jail.
Nancy Gonzales, 32, was arrested at 4:40 p.m., on June 15,
at the Police Department in Ward County, on a warrant for
insufficient funds/checks. She was transported to Reeves
Jose M. Barrera, 52, died Monday, June 15, 1998 at Reeves
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 16 at
Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m., Wednesday at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born Feb. 14, 1946, in Serro Alto, Mexico, was a
maintenance employee at Anchor West, a lifelong Pecos
resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Rachel Barrera of Pecos; four
sons, Jaime, Israel, Jose Cruz and Gilbert Barrera of
Odessa; his father, Pablo Montoya; his step-mother, Esther
Luna; eight sisters, Antonia Gomez, Margarita Baeza, Emma
Carrasco and Armida Rico of Pecos, Elvira Mendoza of Crystal
City, Tx., Otilia Valenzuela, Delia Montoya and Ninfa
Hernandez of Odessa; five brothers, Andres and Epifanio
Montoya of Pecos, Willie Montoya of San Antonio, Benito and
Tiodoso Montoya of Odessa and nine grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 94. Low last night 64. Well remain hot across all of Texas through Wednesday, but there is a chance of some occasional showers and thunderstorms over most areas of the state. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms tonight over the Permian Basin and Edwards Plateau of West Texas. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s except in South Texas where readings will be in the 70s and 80s. Highs Wednesday will be in the 90s across West 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
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise